Thursday 29 September 2016

Conlan restores pride as his father slams disgraced O'Reilly

David Kearns

Published 15/08/2016 | 02:30

Conlan is one bout away from at least a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Conlan is one bout away from at least a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Michael Conlan's father strongly criticised shamed boxer Michael O'Reilly yesterday after his son's dominant bantamweight victory.

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Conlan restored some pride to Irish boxing and his win leaves the Belfast fighter one bout away from at least a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics.

But at the end of a difficult week for Irish boxing, Conlan's father and coach James said middleweight Michael O'Reilly's expulsion from the Olympic Games after a failed drug test had brought a "terrible thing" to Irish boxing.

Speaking after his son's fight, Mr Conlan seemed to suggest that O'Reilly had been absent leading up to the Rio Games.

"It shocked us as a team because to be honest, Michael O'Reilly hadn't been with us for eight weeks. We met him in the airport.

"There is no getting away from it. It has embarrassed us as a team. He embarrassed Irish boxing. He is an unbelievable talent, one of the most talented boxers I've seen, but he is hard to handle."

Irish Independent

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