Wednesday 7 December 2016

Revealed: Computer stats show that devastated Michael Conlan should have won

Sean McGoldrick in Rio

Published 16/08/2016 | 21:59

A furious and disgusted Michael Conlan gives ringside judges a piece of his mind
as he walks by them after his fight with Russian boxer Vladimir Nikitin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
A furious and disgusted Michael Conlan gives ringside judges a piece of his mind as he walks by them after his fight with Russian boxer Vladimir Nikitin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Michael Conlan of Ireland during his Bantamweight quarter final bout with Vladimir Nikitin of Russia at the Riocentro Pavillion 6 Arena during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Michael Conlan should have won yesterday's fight against Russian Vladimir Nikitin in Rio, according to statistics revealed by a respected American website boxing website Comubox.

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According to their data, Conlan threw more punches than the Russian – 365 as opposed to 257. He landed 89 (24.4%) of these in comparison to Nikitin's 75 (29.25).

According to Comubox the Belfast boxer also threw and landed the greatest number of power punches – 82 compared to 71. But it's what happens in each round which determines the outcome of boxing matches.

Interestingly, the statistics do back up the judge's decision to award the first round to Nikitin as he landed 26 to the 72 punches he threw in comparison to 18 of Conlan's 114.

But because Conlan fought mostly off the back foot in that round most of the punches he threw were jabs which are hard to count – he still threw 21 jabs compared to two for the Russian.

Once he discovered he was behind, Conlan was forced to be more aggressive and he won the second round on all three judges' card and this is reflected in the stats. He landed 39 of the 99 punches he threw compared to Nikitin's 26 of 88.

But crucially the computer backs up the theory that Conlan should have been awarded the last round which would have given him the win and a place in the semi-final. He landed 31 of his 126 compared to the Russian's 21 of 87.

The site suggests that the judges opted for the Russian because he drew the Irishman into a brawl but based on punches thrown and landed the Irishman should have prevailed.

Irish boxing referee Tony Mahony agreed with the statistics.

 “Anyone that saw the fight saw he won he won clearly. I was in total shock when I saw the result. I was in deep shock.”

Michael Conlan was furious after his defeat and labelled the AIBA as “cheats”.

Mahony agrees that big questions need to be asked – and answered.

“It’s got more corrupt than ever and it is time to ask serious questions. There is nobody speaking about it. Anyone who does is sent to Coventry. You have to keep speaking out against it.

“Our own organisation, with all respect, don’t carry any power. We are not big enough.”

From Mahony’s trained eye there was only one winner today and that was world champion Michael Conlan.

“He won the first 10-9 easily. He won the second 10-9 and the third round was very tight. It could have been a draw. No doubt whatsoever.

“The Russian has gone through on two dodgy decisions. His previous fight was also controversial.”

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