This Saturday night, big-time outdoor boxing comes to Belfast as former amateur world champion and two-time Olympian, Michael Conlan (11-0) moves up a level in competition to take on Argentina’s, Diego Alberto Ruiz (21-2) in a featherweight ten-round showdown. BT Sport in the UK and ESPN+ in the U.S will broadcast the MTK Global event from Falls Park in Northern Ireland’s capital city.
Ruiz, who fights away from his native country for the first time, is riding a ten-fight win streak and poses somewhat of an unknown threat to the Adam Booth-trained Irishman. Despite bringing a competitive and worthy challenge to the table – Ruiz isn’t the scalp that 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, Conlan was hoping to take on Saturday night.
Original opponent, Vladimir Nikitin would have been more than just another notch for Conlan to add to his professional record – he was his Olympic nemesis. An infamous and controversial decision defeat to Nikitin at the 2016 Rio Olympics led to the twenty-seven year-old giving one-finger salutes to the judges. He was desperately hoping to avenge those wrongs of 2016, but Nikitin unfortunately pulled out with a bicep injury.