Friday 30 September 2016

Irish coach Antia claims Conlan judges made second round decision so they could say: 'We are not corrupt'

Published 16/08/2016 | 16:43

Team Ireland coach Zaur Antia. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Team Ireland coach Zaur Antia. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Irish boxing coach Zaur Antia has claimed judges gave Michael Conlan the second round of his Olympic bout so they could claim they weren't corrupt.

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The head-coach spoke to RTÉ after Conlan's highly controversial decision bantamweight quarter-final defeat to Vladimir Nikitin.

The Belfast boxer was furious after he was adjudged to have lost the first and third rounds of his last eight contest this afternoon.

Zaur Antia said: "Sometimes this happens. Sometimes you are going down and and again you are moving forward. I have big criticism about Katie Taylor who yesterday won against girl.

Team Ireland coaches, from left, John Conlan, Eddie Bolger and Zaur Antia speak with Kevin Kilty, Chef de Equipe of Ireland following the Bantamweight Quarterfinal bout between Michael Conlan of Ireland and Vladimir Nikitin of Russia. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Team Ireland coaches, from left, John Conlan, Eddie Bolger and Zaur Antia speak with Kevin Kilty, Chef de Equipe of Ireland following the Bantamweight Quarterfinal bout between Michael Conlan of Ireland and Vladimir Nikitin of Russia. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

"100pc everybody says that Katie Taylor was robbed and everyone will tell now, I'm sure, that Mike was robbed. Three nil they gave against [first round]. Second round three nil gave to Michael. They can tell now tomorrow: 'We are not corrupt, we gave second round'."

Asked where Irish boxing goes from here, Antia responded: "This is not nice, we have to learn from this. We had good success at last Olympic games and before that. You can't be always there, sometimes you are going down.

"Need clean things, need correct things and need work better, find what's problems and move again onwards."

Antia said the team changed tactics after Conlan controversially lost the first round against his Russian opponent.

"We gave him tactics the tactic was from the beginning the long distance fight. He did it. The first round finished it was such a clean win, you can't win any better."

Conlan lost the round, according to all three judges.

Antia said: "Then we have to go close fight. That's what happened, he was down 3-0 first round which was something terrible, unacceptable. Then we told him he has to work. He work him close. It was now a different fight. Michael was more clean"

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