Mick Conlan reveals Instagram message from man who robbed him of Olympic medal
The biggest fight Mick Conlan could ask for at this point in his career could be right there for the taking.
At 26, Mick Conlan is still very new to the professional ranks. One year after making his debut, he has amassed six victories and has two more bouts already booked.
All his opponents so far have had little to no name recognition, but that's how prospects get built up. Conlan was a star before turning professional and his promotion certainly see superstar potential in him. So for the foreseeable future, he's going to take few more showcase bouts to build up a highlight reel and develop his skill set.
While this is a common practice in pugilism, it can get a little boring. Whenever Conlan fights some jobber no one's ever heard of, he usually wins with remarkable ease. One-sided beatings get old pretty quickly though.
However, a mismatch with a backstory has the potential to be very lucrative. And, there could be one out there that would undoubtedly be the biggest fight of Conlan's young career so far.
Conlan's storied amateur career meant that his inevitable transition into pro boxing was always going to be a high-profile one. However, it was the fight that forced the switch that saw him garner attention from the world's mainstream media. We are, of course, talking about his controversial loss to Vladimir Nikitin at Rio 2016.
Nikitin was completely dominated but somehow got the unanimous decision. He was so badly beaten up that he was unable to continue in the competition. He withdrew before the semi-final because of injuries and took home a bronze medal. Conlan's expletive-laden interview with RTE directly after flipping the bird to the judges instantly became iconic.
As Conlan told ESPN, he wants that rematch. Even above a fight against Shakur Stevenson, who has turned pro after taking silver at the same Olympic games.
"Stevenson, it's a natural fight, but the one I really want is Nikitin. Nikitin messaged me on Instagram the other day, sent me a picture of the article saying he has signed with Top Rank and saying something in Russian like 'I am your friend'.
"I didn't reply to it, I have no ill feeling towards him personally, it wasn't his fault and he didn't profit from it and he's probably got more stick than he should have."
"He's the fella I want and it's very marketable. Stevenson has good boxing skills and is a smart fighter, but he doesn't have the power to trouble me. I hope to have Russian on St Patrick's Day next year either in the big room in the Garden or Belfast."
Very marketable seems like the understatement of the century. Right now, Conlan couldn't really ask for a better fight. That's the one he wants and it's easy to see why.