The Russian had been the subject of a mass of publicity following his quarter-final win on Tuesday as the general consensus of those watching had the Irishman winning.
Nikitin was bloodied and battered after the three-round contest but was still awarded the fight and a subsequent bronze medal due disbelief from Conlan’s supporters.
Conlan made his feelings known about the decision in an outburst after the fight, although Nikitin’s withdrawal will only add insult to his opponent’s injuries.
As Nikitin receives treatment for his cuts and bruises, Shakur Stevenson will now get a bye to the final where he will fight either Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba or Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev for the gold medal on Saturday.
Stevenson has already been signed up by Floyd Mayweather whilst impressing in the Olympic tournament and will turn professional under the pound for pound king’s banner after the games.
For Conlan, the bitterness of the whole debacle has left him disillusioned with the AIBA, and the odds of the world champion turning to the paid ranks himself are getting shorter by the day.
There are sure to be a queue of promoters lining up to take him on, although brother Jamie is currently signed to Frank Warren and Michael may opt to go the same way.