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.”