A little poetic justice was served at the National Stadium in Dublin on Friday, as Vladimir Nikitin, the Russian who infamously benefited from an atrocious decision to move past Ireland’s Michael Conlan and into a bronze-medal spot at last year’s Olympic games, was trumped by Galway boxer Patrick Mongan.
Competing at lightweight, one weight-class and four kilograms up from where he campaigned in Rio, Nikitin made a decent start. A report on the Irish Amateur Boxing Association’s official website conceded that the 27-year-old visitor “probably shaded” the first thanks to some good body work. Three of the five scoring judges agreed with that assessment.
However, Mongan did enough to take the second on three cards, before convincing all five of the judges that he was the deserving winner of the third and final round. Mongan, who fights out of the Olympic Boxing Club, was thus declared the victor, with three of the judges giving the fight to the Galwegian by scores of 29-28 and one scoring the contest 30-27 in his favour. There was only one dissenting card and it was actually that of the Irish judge, who scored the fight 29-28 in Nikitin’s favour.
— Liam Morley Brereton (@bluealgero) April 28, 2017
The fight was part of an Elite International Round Robin, featuring fighters from Ireland, Russia, France, Germany and Italy. Mongan’s victory was just one of an incredible eleven scored by Irish boxers on the day. The competition continues at the National Stadium today.
News of Mongan’s win and Nikitin’s defeat soon found it’s way to the aforementioned Michael Conlan, via Irish journalist Kevin Byrne. The two-time Olympian seemed pretty happy to hear that his old foe had fallen in Dublin.
Hahaha brilliant go on Pat Mongan!! #UpMongan 😂
— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) April 28, 2017
And he wasn’t the only one…
— Johanna butler (@lady_butler01) April 28, 2017
— Paddy Birch (@Paddybirch) April 28, 2017
@mickconlan11 And Patrick Mongan (Ireland) beats Vladimir Nikitin (Russia) just now in Dublin … just as u did in Rio Michael
— BattleoftheAxe (@BattleoftheAxe1) April 28, 2017
Following his fight with Nikitin in Rio, Conlan launched a now infamous tirade during an interview with RTE, labeling amateur boxing’s international governing body, the AIBA, “fucking cheats”. The Belfast boxer also vowed never again to fight under the organisation.
He has proven as good as his word.
The following month Conlan signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and in March of this year he made his professional debut in New York, stopping Tim Ibarra in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd inside the Theater at Madison Square Garden. His second professional outing is scheduled to take place in Chicago next month.
Despite the ‘win’ over Conlan, Nikitin played no further part in the Rio games, as he suffered a number of facial injuries at the hands of the Belfast boxer and was thus forced to withdraw. Cuban Robeisy Ramirez would go on to claim the gold medal in the bantamweight bracket.