Friday 25 May 2018

Michael Conlan and Katie Tayor victims of corruption, report claims

16 August 2016; Michael Conlan of Ireland following his Bantamweight Quarter final defeat to 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
16 August 2016; Michael Conlan of Ireland following his Bantamweight Quarter final defeat to 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
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

The manager of the Irish boxing team at the Rio Olympics has confirmed that coaches were warned to "be careful" ahead of Michael Conlan's controversial defeat.

Conlan was dramatically upset in his bantamweight quarter-final by Russian Vladimir Nikitin, despite post-fight statistics clearly showing that the Belfast boxer landed far more punches.

The Olympic bronze medalist subsequently embarked on a profanity-filled televised tirade where he accused the AIBA, the sport's governing body, of corruption.

A report was compiled after the Olympics by Irish team manager Joe Hennigan, which has been reported on in the Irish Times today, with Hennigan confirming to Independent.ie that Irish coach Zaur Antia had been informed prior to Conlan's fight that something untoward could occur.

"I wouldn't go as far to say it was fixed but we had heard that we would want to 'be careful', this kind of jazz," Hennigan said.

"Indirectly, I was talking to other people.

"That came through Zaur. It was only in passing that this came up, everybody was talking to everybody."

Hennigan also confirmed that he aired concerns around Katie Taylor and Joe Ward's defeats in his report, as well as the Belfast boxer.

"The three people that I mentioned [in the report] were Katie [Taylor], Michael [Conlan] and Joe Ward," Hennigan said.

"To me it was a complete joke that he [Conlan] lost that fight when he definitely won it by four or five miles."

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