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NIKITIN FREE

Michael Conlan is happy to move on from the ghost of an old amateur rival but the dangers of boxing still loom large, writes Elliot Worsell

BEFORE throwing his first punch of the day, Michael Conlan needed to talk about it. He needed to talk about how two fists – tools of his trade, tools he would soon wrap and throw – led to the death of a 28-year-old Russian with whom he once shared a fight card, a profession and a dream. ‘I knew that guy,’ Conlan said, shaking his head. ‘We boxed on the same show. He was a great guy.’

The morning after Maxim Dadashev passed away from injuries sustained in a fight against Subriel Matias, Conlan was back in the boxing gym, his home away from home. Around him were Harlem Eubank and Shannon Courtenay, fellow boxers equally shaken by the news but willing to let Conlan, the gym’s senior statesman, make sense of it all on their behalf before apologising on boxing’s behalf.

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About Boxing News

DARK DAYS – Reflecting on a grim week in the boxing world INNOCENT? – The former trainer of Jarrell Miller tells his story FEATURES – Michael Conlan and Anthony Fowler open up MUCH, MUCH MORE – Including world title unification action