Saturday 24 September 2016

Michael Conlan: I told everyone I would be world champion – you can call me the Conor McGregor of boxing!

Published 15/10/2015 | 08:05

Michael Conlan celebrates with his gold medal after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Michael Conlan celebrates with his gold medal after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Gold medallist Michael Conlan has admitted his delight in making Irish boxing history in Doha and thanked everyone who has helped him become a world champion.

  • Go To

Forty-one years after the inaugural men's World Amateur Boxing championship, Ireland finally secured a gold medal at the tournament after the Belfast boxer defeated Uzbek opponent Murodjon Akhmadaliev to take the bantamweight crown.

Michael Conlan celebrates with his gold medal after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Michael Conlan celebrates with his gold medal after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, celebrates after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, celebrates after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, kisses coach Billy Walsh after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, celebrates after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, celebrates after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, right, Ireland, exchanges punches with Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, during their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, right, Ireland, exchanges punches with Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, during their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, right, Ireland, exchanges punches with Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, during their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, left, Ireland, exchanges punches with Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, during their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, right, Ireland, exchanges punches with Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, during their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, right, Ireland, exchanges punches with Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, during their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, right, Ireland, exchanges punches with Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, during their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Murodjon Akhmadaliev, right, Uzbekistan, exchanges punches with Michael Conlan, Ireland, during their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, celebrates after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, right, Ireland, exchanges punches with Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, during their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, right, Ireland, exchanges punches with Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, during their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, falls to the canvas during his fight against Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, celebrates after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, celebrates with his gold medal after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, celebrates with his gold medal after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, celebrates with his gold medal after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, celebrates with his gold medal after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
14 October 2015; Michael Conlan, Ireland, celebrates with his gold medal after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Uzbekistan, in their Men's Bantamweight 56kg Final bout. AIBA World Boxing Championships, Semi-Finals. Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, Doha, Qatar. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Conlan delivered on his promise to be the country's first Irish male world title holder, though he had to survive a last-minute knock-down before fashioning a unanimous 3-0 victory.

Even though the knock-down forced him to take a standing count, two of the judges still gave him the final round.

"You can call me the McGregor of boxing. I predict everything I do and I'm coming through successful," he said afterwards.

The interim UFC featherweight champion approved of the comments...

Posting from his Twitter account this morning, he again re-iterated the need to remain confident in order to succeed, while also singling out his father John for a special mention.

"Great to make Irish history, I told everyone I was going to win this, you just have to believe!" he wrote.

"World Champion, that sounds good thanks to everyone who has supported me from the start and right up to this point!

"Unreal amount of Well wishes and good lucks I've had so much I can't keep up but I wanna thank all of you really appreciate it! Shoutout @QatarGAA And all the Irish who were in the arena last night unreal atmosphere, and last big John Conlan, all our work has paid off!"

This was the moment that the High Performance Unit has waited for since it was set up by Gary Keegan in 2002. It has been a gradual process reaching the top of the pile. Initially John Joe Nevin did the hard yards; winning bronze medals at successive championships; Jason Quigley took silver two years ago and now Conlan has the gold and, who knows, Joe Ward could grab a second tonight.

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport