Michael Conlan has been robbed of his second Olympic medal
Michael Conlan has been robbed of his second Olympic medal.
The Belfast bantamweight lost to Vladimir Nikitin, who earned a unanimous decision in Rio.
Conlan, who won bronze in the flyweight division at the London Games four years ago, started the fight strongly, but somehow lost the opening round.
The 24-year-old’s Russian opponent tried to drag Conlan into a fight, swinging furiously at times, but the Irish fighter was light on his feet, worked his jab and landed a series of combinations.
However, all three judges gave the Russian the first round.
A number of judges' decisions at the Olympics have come in for criticism, including Katie Taylor's harrowing loss on Monday. Conlan, the last remaining Irish boxer, fell victim to frankly ludicrous scoring in the first round.
Nikitin, carrying a cut over his left eye and the side of his head, landed a number of heavy shots in the second, but was very limited. The Russian lacked the pure boxing skill of his Irish opponent, was out-thought and out-fought when Conlan stood toe-to-toe with him.
The 24-year-old won the second round, levelling the fight and started strong in the final round.
Conlan pushed his opponent back, outworked him and continued to put pressure on Nikitin, who landed a few uppercuts.
However, even Vladimir Putin wouldn’t have said his compatriot did enough to win the bout.
Yet the judges awarded the fight to Nikitin.
Daylight robbery for Conlan, one of Ireland’s most talented amateur boxers, who has been denied the chance to add to his Commonwealth, European and World titles.