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Michael Conlan set to face South American as identity of 'toughest possible opponent' revealed for Falls Park bout

Michael Conlan after defeating Adeilson dos Santos in Belfast last year (Jonathan Porter/PressEye)
Michael Conlan after defeating Adeilson dos Santos in Belfast last year (Jonathan Porter/PressEye)

Michael Conlan will face an Argentinian opponent in Belfast next month following the withdrawal of his original opponent Vladimir Nikitin.

The August 3 clash at Fall Park was due to see a re-run of the infamous 2016 Olympic quarter-final in which the Russian fighter was adjudged the winner of his bout against Conlan, then the reigning World amateur champion.

However, Nikitin is unable to fight in Belfast due a biceps injury.

Instead Diego Alberto Ruiz will take on Conlan in a 10-round featherweight clash as part of the city’s annual Féile an Phobail summer festival.

“The show goes on. A bigger fight is happening. A harder fight is happening. A better performance will happen. My motivation and mindset haven't changed," said Conlan.

"When Vladimir Nikitin dropped out due to injury, I told Top Rank and MTK Global to get me the toughest possible opponent.

“Ruiz is on a 10-fight winning streak, and I know he's coming all the way from Argentina to continue his victorious ways. This is my toughest test as a professional, but if I'm going to become a world champion, I must beat Ruiz. I've been busy in London with my trainer, Adam Booth, and I can't wait to put on a show on August 3.

“Maybe once I’m a world champion, I might give Nikitin a shot, but for now, I’m moving on because it was more stalling my career than advancing it in terms of the level I’m at.”

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