Tuesday 24 April 2018

Michael Conlan survives serious scare to advance to World Championship quarter-finals

Michael Conlan
Michael Conlan
Brendan Irvine is one win away from a medal

Sean McGoldrick

Irish team captain Michael Conlan survived a scare before advancing to the quarter-finals at the World Boxing championships in Doha.

The world number three fought the experienced Brazilian Robenitson Vieira de Jesus quite a handful but a storming last round proved decisive and he got through to the last eight on a majority 2-1 decision. The judges scored the overall fight 30-27; 29-29; 28-29.

The Belfast bantamweight will be disappointed that he didn’t achieve a unanimous win but the Brazilian wasn’t short of ring craft having boxed at both the Beijing and London Olympics.

Conlan got off to a sluggish enough start and was down on two of the judges’ scoring cards at the end of round one even though he shipped very few punches. 

The somewhat bizarre scoring pattern continued in round two.  The judge who had given Conlan round 2 also gave him the nod for round two as did one other judge. But the third official favoured the Brazilian which left the fight on a knife edge going into the final round.

Conlan was hit with a low blow and the referee gave him a count in the third but the Olympic bronze medal responded in style and finally got the better of his opponent to win the round on all three judges’ cards.

Michael O’Reilly became the third Irish boxer through to the last eight at the World championships in Doha when he swept aside the challenge of Australian Daniel Lewis.

The Portlaoise middleweight – who was a gold medallist at the inaugural European Games in Baku earlier this year – had far too much class for the Australian who was forced to take a standing count.

Leading 20-18 on all three judges’ cards at the end of round two O’Reilly has virtually secured his place in Saturday’s quarter finals. One judge gave the final round to Lewis but it scarcely mattered as Ireland’s new star won a unanimous decision on a score of 30-27, 30-27, 29-28

Meanwhile, Brendan Irvine is also one win away from securing a medal at his inaugural appearance at the World Boxing championships.

Irvine just got the better of Turkey’s Muhammet Unlu on a majority 2-1 decision to advance to Saturday’s quarter finals in Doha.

The light flyweight made a slow start and his Turkish opponent was up on two of the three judges’ cards at the end of round one.  But the Belfast native was back to his best in the second and won it on all three judges’ cards which left him in a decent position with three minutes of action left.

Two of the judges gave the Irishman the final round which enabled him to win the contest 30-27; 29-28; 28-29.

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