Olympian speaks out: 'Sorry, they are f***ing cheats'

Irish boxer Michael Conlan has blown up in an extraordinary post-fight interview after his controversial exit from the Rio Olympics.

Although he appeared to dominate his bout with Russia's Vladimir Nikitin, the Irish amateur world champion lost on points, as all three judges gave two of the three rounds to his opponent.

Clearly disgusted, Conlan raised his middle finger at the judges, then used his ringside interview to accuse Olympic boxing of corruption - and he wasn't diplomatic about it either.

"AIBA (the Amateur International Boxing Association) are cheats. They're f***ing cheats. Sorry about that, but that's me. I don't give a f***, I'm cursing on TV," Conlan said.

"My chance at Olympic gold is over. My dream's been shattered, but you know what? I've got a big career ahead of me and these, they're known for being cheats. They'll always be cheats. Amateur boxing stinks, from the core right to the top.

"They've robbed me of my Olympic dream. Obviously Russia can't dope this time so they are obviously paying the judges a lot more."

Conlan claimed practically no one in the arena - apart from the judges - thought Nikitin had won the fight.

"When I went back to the corner after the first round I wasn't even breathing heavy. My corner said, 'You've done fantastic, you'll win this easy.'

"I had an engine. I hurt him, I hit him a shot and he yelped in the ring," he said. "I put it on him more and more. I thought I annihilated him in the second-round. The third was closer, but even that I thought I did enough to win.

"The Russian afterwards, he didn't believe he won. I didn't believe he won. The referee didn't believe he won. I couldn't think his corner believed he won. Then he reacted as if he'd won a gold medal.

"I was here for gold. It didn't happen. I'll never box in this competition again. If people watch this Olympic Games and they see some of the decisions ... I think boxing is dead. It's about whoever pays the most money. Whoever has the biggest influence wins."

Conlan, who won bronze in London four years ago and wasn't happy then either, went on to call out Russian President Vladimir Putin on Twitter, again implying Russia had paid off the judges.


"Hey Vlad. How much did they charge you bro?" he asked. Unsurprisingly, Putin has not deigned to respond.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has vehemently rejected Conlan's accusations of corruption.

"Michael is a current world champion and he came here with high expectations," said an AIBA spokesman.

"His disappointment is massive, we can all understand that. It's his personal judgment.
"AIBA is striving for a fair, level-playing field. The idea is not to benefit one country towards another. We represent 200 national federations.

"He's free to have his opinion."

But Conland should have won, according to statistics revealed by respected American website boxing website Comubox and reported by the Irish Independent.

According to Comubox data, Conlan threw more punches than the Russian - 365 against 257. He landed 89 (24.4 per cent) in comparison to Nikitin's 75 (29.25 per cent).

The Belfast boxer also threw and landed the greatest number of power punches - 82 compared to 71, the Independent reported.

The data backed up the judge's decision to award the first round to Nikitin, as he landed 26 to the 72 punches he threw in comparison to Conlan's 18 of 114. But because Conlan fought mostly off the back foot in that round, most of the punches he threw were jabs. He threw 21 compared to two for the Russian.

Conlan won the second round on all three judges' card and this is reflected in the Comubox stats. He landed 39 of the 99 punches he threw compared to Nikitin's 26 of 88.

Crucially the computer backs up the theory that Conlan should have been awarded the last round which would have given him the win and a place in the semifinal.

He landed 31 of his 126 compared to the Russian's 21 of 87.

- news.com.au

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