Sunday 11 December 2016

'Michael Conlan won the contest' - Irish boxing referee turned whistleblower Seamus Kelly

Published 17/08/2016 | 19:47

Vladimir Nikitin of Russia is declared victorious over Michael Conlan of Ireland during their Bantamweight Quarter final bout at the Riocentro Pavillion 6 Arena during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Vladimir Nikitin of Russia is declared victorious over Michael Conlan of Ireland during their Bantamweight Quarter final bout at the Riocentro Pavillion 6 Arena during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Former Irish boxing judge Seamus Kelly has claimed that Michael Conlan should be fighting tomorrow in an Olympic semi-final.

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Kelly was quoted in an article in The Guardian on the eve of the games that claimed, citing multiple sources - including Kelly - a group of senior referees and judges met before a major championship to decide on how to score certain bouts having earlier relied on hand and head signals to select a winner.

The Irish judge claimed he had been asked to fix bouts at the Arab Games in Doha in 2011.

"I've been asked many times to cheat. Basically what happens is that a supervisor would come over to me and this coach in this corner was from his country and he would want me to go for this particular boxer," Kelly told The Last Word on Today FM this evening

"I never gave the girl a round but I saw him go around to the other judges."

The AIBA released a statement today to say that a handful of judges and referees would not officiate for the remainder of the Rio Olympics because some of the decisions were not up to required level

Seven judges, who have been dubbed the Magnificent Seven in the media, who allegedly make decisions regarding what judges are involved in each fight and Kelly believes that none of these officials will be among those sent home.

"I don't know who has been dropped but there are seven officials out there that have got there jobs and I would bet my life that it's not them," he added.

Asked about how he would have judged Michael Conlan's controversial quarter-final defeat to Vladimir Nikitin, Kelly said: "Michael won the contest, no doubt in my mind whatsoever."

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