Nikitin pulls out of Conlan bout with torn biceps

The professional rematch between featherweights Michael Conlan and Vladimir Nikitin will have to wait.

Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told ESPN on Thursday that Nikitin suffered a torn biceps and has withdrawn from the much-anticipated bout. The amateur rivals were scheduled to meet in a 10-round fight on Aug. 3 in the main event of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ card at Falls Park, an outdoor stadium in Conlan's hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Moretti said that Nikitin's manager, Egis Klimas, notified Top Rank on Wednesday night about the injury.

"He called us and told us that Nikitin is headed back to Russia for surgery," Moretti said. "We are searching for a new opponent for Conlan."

Moretti said Klimas spoke about the injury as if it was quite serious and that Nikitin would be sidelined for "quite some time."

"We're not even going to think about rescheduling the fight right now," Moretti said. "It's too severe of an injury. And when he does come back we'd probably have to give him another fight first before he could be ready to fight Conlan. It's a disappointment."

Conlan and Nikitin squared off at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The result was a massively controversial Nikitin decision win that nearly caused an international incident.

Conlan, who claimed an Olympic bronze medal in 2012 for Ireland, was a medal favorite in the 2016 Games when he met Russia's Nikitin in the quarterfinals, with the winner guaranteed at least a bronze medal.

Conlan appeared to easily defeat Nikitin but the judges did not see it that way and gave Nikitin the shocking victory. But he was so busted up from the fight against Conlan that he withdrew from the tournament because of injuries and was unable to fight in the semifinals.

After the bout, a distraught Conlan famously lashed out at the judges by giving them double middle fingers in the ring. He ripped the International Boxing Association, which was overseeing the Olympic tournament, and said he believed that Russian president Vladimir Putin had paid off the judges to give the decision to Nikitin.

Conlan (11-0, 6 KOs), 27, later signed a professional contract with Top Rank and his signing was announced accompanied by a photo of Conlan and Top Rank founder Bob Arum flipping their middle fingers to the camera for a social media post that went viral.

Nikitin (3-0, 0 KOs), 29, remained an amateur boxer following the Olympics before finally deciding to turn professional last July. He signed with Top Rank and Klimas for the express purpose of eventually fighting Conlan again.