independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Irish anger as Nolan 'robbed' by 'disgraceful' split decision

France's Souleymane Cissokho turns to his corner in celebration after being given a controversial verdict over Adam Nolan

Adam Nolan has bowed out of the AIBA World Elite Championships, despite ending up with more points than his opponent.

The Bray BC welterweight dropped a split decision to France's Souleymane Cissokho in the last-64 clash in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The Brazilian judge scored all three frames 10-9, 10-9, 10-9 to Nolan, but the Azerbaijani and Danish judges leaned in favour of Cissokho (9-10, 10-9, 9-10) and (10-9, 9-10, 9-10).

The Danish and Azeri adjudicators did mark one round each to Nolan, but two stanzas each to Cissokho, who advanced on a 30-27, 28-29, 28-29 split decision.

When all the scores were totted up, southpaw Nolan, who works as a Garda in Bray, had 86 points and Cissokho 85.

Nolan's Irish team-mate Paddy Barnes, shooting straight from the hip on Twitter, didn't pull any punches in his assessment of the decision.

He tweeted: "#Just watched Adam Nolan get robbed of victory after beating the French man around the ring, disgraceful and embarrassing #almaty2013.

Irish head coach Billy Walsh, who was working Nolan's corner with Zuar Antia, said that he thought the Irish Elite champion did enough to progress.

"I'm disappointed. He started off well and clearly won the first round. I felt that he didn't lose the second round and he didn't lose the last round," said Walsh.

"We matched him every time, so we thought we would have come out on top.

"One of the judges gave us three, but unfortunately we lost out, which has to be disappointing for us all.

"We fought this guy already this year. We knew it was going to be tough."

No Irish boxers will be between the ropes today, but Team Ireland are facing a busy day tomorrow, with three fighters in last-32 action.

Two-time Olympic bronze medallist Barnes, who has moved up from light-flyweight to flyweight for Almaty, is in against Serbia's Milos Baltic in his first fight of the championships.

Tommy McCarthy and Ray Moylette, who have both had a victory in Kazakhstan this week, meet Canada's Samir El-Mais and Kyrgystan's Ermek Sakenov, respectively.

Walsh added: "We still have some quality lads to come. As the tournament progresses, we will see the quality of opposition.

"Lads that have had fights before the ones that haven't will have some extra experience.

"It's all to play for. Seeding doesn't mean a whole lot once they go into the ring. Anyone can win if they put in the effort on the day."

Michael Conlan, a bronze medallist at London 2012, current European champion Jason Quigley and Con Sheehan will have their first fights at the 17th edition of the championships on Saturday.

TOMORROW'S FIXTURES

52KG PADDY BARNES (IRELAND) V MILOS BALTIC (SERBIA)

64KG RAY MOYLETTE (IRELAND) V ERMEK

SAKENOV (KYRGYSTAN)

91kg Tommy McCarthy (Ireland) v Samir

El-Mais (Canada)

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