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The Conlan Revolution Returns Home Saturday at Falls Park in Belfast

BELFAST (July 29, 2019) —The show had to go on. After Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin bowed out due to injury, Michael "Mick" Conlan found a new opponent for his Belfast homecoming in Diego Alberto Ruiz (21-2, 10 KOs).

By

BELFAST (July 29, 2019) —The show had to go on.

After Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin bowed out due to injury, Michael "Mick" Conlan found a new opponent for his Belfast homecoming in Diego Alberto Ruiz (21-2, 10 KOs).

The veteran from Argentina will look to upset Conlan (11-0, 6 KOs) in front of roughly 10,000 fans Saturday at Falls Park as part of the Féile an Phobail summer festival.

Conlan grew up a stone's throw from the park, and his fight will be one of the festival's  major events. 

Conlan-Ruiz and Luis Arias-Luke Keeler will stream live on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, starting at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. The undercard stream will begin at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT and stream only on ESPN+.

As fight week kicks off, this is what Conlan, a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, had to say.

On Nikitin dropping out and what Ruiz brings to the table

“Having Diego Alberto Ruiz step in for Vladimir Nikitin didn’t really change how I approach the fight. I suspect Ruiz will come forward but maybe not as aggressively as Nikitin was going to.”

“For me, I wanted the toughest fighter we could get after Nikitin fell out, and that’s what I told Top Rank and MTK Global. Every fight to me is important, but I wanted to make sure the August 3 fight in West Belfast was going to entertain the huge crowd.”

On training with Adam Booth

“Adam and I work on so much every camp. I know I’m much better just since St. Patrick’s Day {when he defeated Ruben Garcia Hernandez at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden}. While we focus on every opponent and how to beat them, we’re truly working on getting better each camp and every day, so that when the time comes to fight for a world title, I’ll be ready.”

On the future

“I’m a humble person. There’s a lot of chatter coming from different fighters, some who are in a similar place as me in their careers and it’s getting a bit much, especially on social media. I prefer to let my performances speak for themselves.”

“I plan to fight again on St. Patrick’s Day at Madison Square Garden next year. It’s my favorite arena, and I love the atmosphere inside the arena and in New York City during fight week.”

“I could see a title fight against {IBF featherweight world champion} Josh Warrington coming to fruition within 12 months. It would be big anywhere in the UK or Ireland, but I’d love to have my first world championship fight at Madison Square Garden.”