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Saturday 3 December 2016

Con-job

Conlan rages at judges after his shocking defeat as Murphy sails to silver in Rio redemption

Michael Conlan after his bantamweight quarter-final loss to Vladimir Nikitin of Russia at the Riocentro. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Michael Conlan after his bantamweight quarter-final loss to Vladimir Nikitin of Russia at the Riocentro. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Irish bantamweight Michael Conlan blasted Olympic boxing body AIBA as 'corrupt' in an expletive-laden rant at the judging after losing to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin in the quarter-finals.

Saying he had been robbed of a rightful win, and vowing never to fight again in any AIBA-organised competition, the world champion also accused Russia of influencing judges.

"AIBA are just corrupt. They've robbed me of my Olympic dream," he told reporters after losing on points in a unanimous decision that, to some observers, seemed at odds with what they had witnessed.

"Obviously Russia can't dope this time so they are obviously paying the judges a lot more," he added.

"I will never box an AIBA competition again. Not APB, not WSB, not world championships or Olympic Games. Corruption runs deep... I just think they are rotten to the core."

Conlan, who had been the last Irish boxer left in the tournament, lost 28-29 on all three scorecards.

The three judges -- from Brazil, Sri Lanka and Poland -- all gave Conlan the second round 10-9 10-9 10-9 but scored the first and last in favour of his rival.

"The judging has been atrocious," US (and former Ireland) coach Billy Walsh said. "The last time I saw it as bad was in Seoul in 1988 when Roy Jones got robbed in the final.

"I saw Michael Conlan's first two rounds in the changing area and he completely out-boxed this guy."

Not long after the boxing debacle, Annalise Murphy secured Ireland's first Olympic sailing medal in 36 years after winning Laser Radial silver.

Four years after agonisingly being pipped to a podium position, a fine regatta saw the 26-year-old finish fifth in the rescheduled medal race.

"It's incredible," Murphy said after winning Ireland's second medal of the Games. "I am just a bit shell-shocked."

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