Those who witnessed the robbery that was Michael Conlan’s ‘loss’ to Vladimir Nikitin in the bantamweight quarter-final of the Olympic boxing reacted with a level of disgust that matched that of Conlan’s interview immediately afterwards.
As part of our ‘Secret Olympian’ series in the run-up to the Rio games, Ireland’s Michael Conlan wrote on having to sacrifice and forgo a ‘normal life’ in order to dedicate himself to the sport of boxing.
“This game is my life. It is not for everybody and I understand that. To get to where I have got to, to become an Olympian, I have dedicated my life to the sport of boxing. It has made me who I am today. I have done the early mornings, I have done the late nights, I have given up things that young people my age take for granted in their lives.”
This dedication from Conlan makes his dramatic elimination from the 2016 Olympics all the more difficult to swallow for those who have supported him through thick and thin.
The unanimous decision loss the Belfast man suffered to Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin drew heavy criticism from all observers – Irish and neutral alike.
An understandably hurt Conlan put the AIBA on blast in speaking to RTÉ.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) August 16, 2016
Irish boxer Michael Conlan to the 'judges' after his fight. (Inpho) pic.twitter.com/BbErx1x3Do
— Dave O’Connell (@DaveOCKOP) August 16, 2016
The reaction to the judging, which dubiously and questionably awarded the Russian both the first and third rounds follows a string of controversy-attracting decisions in the ring during these games.
A customary warning follows that some of these reactions feature sometimes strong and vulgar language.
— JamesVincentMcMorrow (@jamesvmcmorrow) August 16, 2016
Fellow Irishmen and boxing professionals such as Gary O’Sullivan and Matthew Macklin, having first-hand experience of what it takes to be a boxer, were particularly appalled.
— John Joe Nevin (@johnJoeNevin) August 16, 2016
At least have balls and say he was robbed blind https://t.co/UGbyyND5b7
— Paddy Barnes (@paddyb_ireland) August 16, 2016
— Gary Spike OSullivan (@spike_osullivan) August 16, 2016
— Bernard Dunne (@Bernard_Dunne) August 16, 2016
— matthew macklin (@mattmacklin) August 16, 2016
Fair play to @mickconlan11 for saying it like it is, he has a right to be that upset. Corruption obviously in play there.
— Cathal Pendred (@Pendred) August 16, 2016
— Paul Hyland (@paulhylanddub24) August 16, 2016
Being ripped of money or anything else in life is nothing compared to being ripped of your dreams!! Heart goes out to @mickconlan11
— james gallagher (@StrabanimalMMA) August 16, 2016
— BOXING IRELAND (@LoveIrishBoxing) August 16, 2016
'Amateur boxing stinks' – The RTÉ panel discusses Michael Conlan's controversial defeat https://t.co/miT6HjqUYn
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 16, 2016
— Kevin McAnena (@KevinMcAnena) August 16, 2016
The reaction outside Ireland echoed the sentiments of those within.
Sky Sports boxing duo Ed Robinson and pundit Glenn McCrory aired their shock.
Disgrace ! Absolute ridiculous decision Michael Conlan won all 3 rounds!
— Glenn McCrory (@SkyGlennMcCrory) August 16, 2016
Disgusting, heart goes out to @mickconlan11 What a travesty.
— Edwin Robinson (@Skyedrobinson) August 16, 2016
— colin murray (@ColinMurray) August 16, 2016
— Anthony Fowler (@afowler06) August 16, 2016
Feel bad for Irish boxer Michael Conlan, who got robbed in Olympic match. @AIBA_Boxing judges strike again
— Al Bernstein (@AlBernstein) August 16, 2016
— Stephen Smith (@SwiftySmith) August 16, 2016
— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) August 16, 2016
— billyjoesaunders (@bjsaunders_) August 16, 2016
Michael’s brother Jamie was understandably heartbroken at the decision.
Fucking stinking!!! Devastated beyond belief,, cheating cunts paid for medals before the competition even started,, ruining dreams #Scum
— Jamie Conlan (@JamieConlan11) August 16, 2016