Michael Conlan secures bronze medal at World Championships
Michael Conlan delivered his mother Teresa the perfect birthday present in Doha when he secured a bronze medal at the World boxing championships.
Conlan, the Irish captain and number three seed, fashioned a unanimous 3-0 win - 30-27 on all three judges' cards – over Tayfur Aliyev from Azerbaijan.
In truth the Belfast bantamweight comfortably controlled the fight and team coach Billy Walsh said that Conlan hadn't moved out of second gear.
He becomes only the third Irish boxer to win medals at Olympic, European and now World level following in the footsteps of Katie Taylor and John Joe Kevin. Just for good measure Conlan has also won a Commonweath Gold medal.
But he wants to win a gold medal in Doha and a gold in Rio next year – he has already qualified for the Games – before following his brother Jamie into the pro ranks. He will have another cause to box for in tomorrow's semi-final as it is Jamie's birthday!
On the instructions of his coaches Conlan avoided getting into a battle with Aliyev, who was a bronze medallist at the European Games earlier this summer. His defensive work was excellent and his ability to move clear of Aliyev's best shots left his opponent clearly frustrated.
“We had the right tactics today, I felt in control and I wasn't worried a tall. In the first fight I was fighting the most awkward fighter in the whole competition. His arms were longer than my legs,” suggest Conlan who added that he felt much more comfortable today.
But the 23 year old declared that he wasn't happy with just winning a bronze; he wanted the gold in Doha.