Boxing

Exclusive: Jamie Conlan Says Russian Coaches Apologised To Brother Michael After Rio Robbery

Exclusive: Jamie Conlan Says Russian Coaches Apologised To Brother Michael After Rio Robbery

World-ranked super-flyweight Jamie Conlan has told Balls.ie that Russian coaches apologised to his younger brother Michael following yesterday's Olympic boxing farce at the Riocentro, and revealed his disgust at the AIBA's plans to send a number of judges and referees home from the Games.

The 29-year-old 'Irish Mexican', undefeated in 17 fights as a professional, remains outraged at yesterday's events, and explained how both he and his brother were unaware of how massive the news of his brother's controversial 'defeat' had become back in Ireland:

I didn't know it was mainstream news. I knew the boxing public was in uproar, but the world is watching the Olympics so it's clear to see how the mainstream media would have picked it up, as it's clear for all to see how bad this was.

The senior Conlan brother was quick to scoff at the AIBA's decision to expel a number of judges and referees from the Games - this due to what they described as "less than a handful" of poor decisions, which has left a number of nations - not least Ireland - outraged at amateur boxing's governing body.

The entire ordeal would be easier to take, claims Conlan, if the controversial organisation would simply admit they've made a balls of it:

Too little, too late. They took someone's dream away. 12 years working towards an Olympic gold medal.

The fact that they are sending them home is a clear admittance that wrongdoing has occurred. why not just come out and tell everybody he won the fight and they made a mistake?

Last night, the Russian Olympic Committee produced what essentially amounted to a piss-take of a statement regarding Michael Conlan's post-fight outburst, asking "Why is there this mistrust all the time?" before suggesting Conlan deal with the matter "in a dignified way."

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Jamie, though, is having none of it. The Commonwealth champion in the professional ranks explained to Balls how he and others feared a potential stitch-up might be in the works as soon as his brother's quarter-final opponent, Vladimir Nikitin, was adjudged to have beaten Thailand's Chatchai Butdee in the previous round - a fight which saw the Russian clearly dominated by his superior opponent.

If you're defeated fair and square, and beaten by a better man, you should accept your loss with dignity. It's what we are all taught from when we first put a pair of gloves on. But this was not fair, not even close to being fair.

This was decided days ago. We had heard rumours even before the Russian 'beat' the Thai fighter that this was going to happen. The only person who didn't hear this was Michael!

But I didn't think anyone would do this with the world watching. The backlash and scrutiny that AIBA have come under because of it is deserved tenfold.

Indeed, Conlan revealed how following the result, Russian coaches were amongst those who sympathised with his heartbroken younger brother.

But it wasn't just coaches who found the result baffling:

When Russian coaches come with shame and apologising, saying you won, something has to be said. And I'm proud that Michael said it.

Every coach and boxer from every other country came to him and said he won - even his rivals! Outside the stadium afterwards, the Brazilian people were queuing up to offer condolences.

It was sickening and hard pill to swallow. When you watch someone work so hard day in and day out, away from his family, all to come down to that makes me feel sick.

As he said afterwards, he's a winner and will continue to do big things with his career. This fight will not define him. He has bigger and brighter nights ahead. I couldn't be prouder of him.

The Conlan brothers in the pro ranks together will make for some brighter nights indeed.

WATCH: Steve Bunce's View Of That Outrageous Conlan Decision On The BBC

Gavan Casey
Article written by
Former handwriting champion. Was violently bitten by a pelican at Fota Wildlife Park in 2001.

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