Wednesday, May 31, 2023  |


Irish boxer Michael Conlan gives finger after match, alleges corruption

Fighters Network
Photo courtesy of Michael Conlan

Photo courtesy of Michael Conlan

Ireland’s Michael Conlan didn’t just vocally give the finger to AIBA’s judges after his controversial loss to Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin in the bantamweight quarterfinals on Tuesday that continued a worrying trend of questionable decisions in Rio.

The tournament’s top-ranked bantamweight actually gave them the finger as he left the ring, extending his arms and offering a double-barrel salute in both directions after he lost a unanimous decision. He followed that up with a blistering interview in which he alleged corruption and seemed to suggest the amateur organization had received bribes in his match with Nikitin.

“AIBA are cheats,” Conlan told Irish broadcaster RTE Sport. “(Expletive) cheats. As simple as that. That’s me, I’ll never box for AIBA again. They’re cheating bastards. They’re paying everybody. I was here to win Olympic gold. My dreams been shattered now. You know that. I’ve a big career ahead of me. And (AIBA?) They’ve always been cheats. Amateur boxing stinks. From the core to the top. I thought I boxed the ears off him in the first round but they scored it against me. So I had to fight his fight, which I did, outfought him. It’s a shambles to be honest. Today just showed how corrupt this organization is.”

Conlan later Tweeted at Russian president Vladimir Putin, implying he paid off AIBA to allow Nikitin to win his match on Tuesday. “Hey Vlad, How much did they charge you bro??” AIBA didn’t immediately return an email for comment.

Irish middleweight Andy Lee likely spoke for many when he tweeted the following after Conlan’s loss. “Speechless.” Conlan’s puzzling loss comes on the heels of another hard-to-figure decision when Russia’s Evgeny Tishchenko won his gold heavyweight match against Kazakhstan’s Vasily Levit on Monday even though Levit appeared to win convincingly.

Here’s a link to the interview: