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Michael Conlan crashes out of Olympics with four letter rant

A disappointed Michael Conlan speaks to RTÉ after his defeat in Rio on Tuesday
Connla Young

BELFAST boxer Michael Conlan says his Olympic dreams have been "shattered" after he controversially crashed out of the Rio games yesterday.

The bantamweight fighter was beaten by Russia's Vladimir Nikitin in a unanimous decision in the Rio quarter-finals and later vowed never to fight in an amateur competition again.

Afterwards, Conlan was unable to contain his emotions and insisted that he had been cheated and that "amateur boxing stinks",

The gutted boxer also made his feelings known by delivering a one finger salute after the result was announced.

The result has caused a storm on social media with many people coming out in support of the devastated boxer.

Bookmaker Paddy Power also offered a “justice payout” to anyone who had placed cash on Conlan to win.

The 24-year-old, who won bronze at the London Olympics, was Ireland’s last hope of a boxing medal.

After the fight Conlan said his dreams were shattered.

In a foul-mouthed outburst broadcast live on RTE he said: “They are cheats, they are f*****g cheats. That’s me, I will never box for the AIBA (Amateur International Boxing Association) again...I don’t give a f**k if I am cursing on TV.

“I was here to win Olympic gold, my dream has been shattered now.”

Irish News photographer Hugh Russell, who won a boxing bronze at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, said that while other boxers including Paddy Barnes and Katie Taylor were not at their best in Rio, Conlan deserved to win his fight.

“Michael Conlan was involved in a contest that he clearly won,” he said.

“That’s clearly the difference, Michael Conlan had his Olympic chances taken from him.”

But he said he believes the boxer may come to regret his post fight outburst.

“You have to realise this is his lifetime’s work, not just four years work,” he said.

“When the chance is taken from you by someone outside the ring it’s 100 times harder than inside the ropes.

“People who are coming out of something so emotional and highly charged and they are not media trained, sometimes they say things they later regret.

“Having said that he will never regret saying he thought he was cheated out of an Olympic medal and anybody who watched that fight with an honest heart and boxing knowledge cannot disagree with it.”

Conlan’s exit signals a disappointing end to Ireland’s medal hopes in boxing.

Ireland’s Rio hopes got off to a bad start after Laois middleweight Michael O'Reilly was tested positive for drugs.

North Belfast medal hopeful Paddy Barnes then crashed out of the competition and was followed by London gold winner Katie Taylor earlier this week.

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