Michael Conlan is heading towards a summer showdown against his bitter Olympic rival Vladimir Nikitin.

Both men are in action at Madison Square Garden on March 17th, when the BoxNation cameras feature Conlan’s 10 round Featherweight clash against Ruben Garcia Hernandez.

Nikitin, who has won both his professional fights, is on the undercard against Texan Juan Tapia.

Conlan, 27, is best known globally for his famous middle finger salute towards AIBA officials after their judges cruelly cost him victory in the 2016 Rio Olympics against Nikitin.

Recognition was the last thing he wanted when he let rip at the governing body, but it became one of the Games' big talking points, and perversely boosted Conlan’s profile.

There is even talk of Conlan having home advantage in Belfast when they pair settle their differences and Russian Nikitin is determined to show he was the rightful winner in Rio.

"The fight I want after I take care of business on March 17 is Michael Conlan," said Nikitin who won medals at the European and World Championships.

“He wants revenge, and I want to show everyone that I was, and still am, the superior fighter. I respect Michael and his team. While there is no bad blood outside the ring, we have unfinished business inside the ring."

Conlan, who trains in London, heads to New York this weekend for his third consecutive St. Patrick’s Day fight at the world’s fighting mecca.

The Irishman who bids to make it 11 straight professional wins against Hernandez said: "Nikitin is a rival from the 2016 Olympics and clearly someone who I look forward to fighting in the professional ranks.

"This is the second time we've fought on the same card, and I look forward to seeing his progress as a professional."