Irish bantamweight Michael Conlan is in hot water as his middle finger gesture to the judges following their decision awarding the fight to Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin in the quarter-finals in Rio. His out burst didn’t go un-noticed, and now he faces the threat of disciplinary action over his reaction to his controversial Olympic defeat.
The Irish boxing team’s Games suffered early set-backs following dreadful results as middleweight Michael O’Reilly was sent home after failing a drugs test, while medal hopefuls Barnes, Taylor and Joe Ward were among those on the wrong end of judges’ decisions. No Conlan can add his name to the list as well as know he will be the centre of media attention for a few days while his outburst is dealt with by the governing authorities. Conlan told the press “They can try to do what they want, and it doesn’t bother me. I spoke the truth and how can they discipline me after more or less admitting what they did was wrong because they sacked the judges? I still believe everything I said was the truth, if I hadn’t said those things, even though it was a bit crazy, I would probably have a bit of regret now. I know what happened and what went on. I’m just happy to come back here and get a hero’s welcome,”
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International Boxing Association (AIBA) president Dr Ching-Kuo Wu has said “disciplinary action will follow”. The defeat was Ireland’s last hope of a medal in this years Olympic games, and now the Irishman will concentrate on turning pro and carving out his future in boxing. But if he does succeed, antics like those displayed in RIO will not go down well, and he will find life in the professional ranks far stricter. Fellow boxer Light-flyweight Barnes, who has also been linked with a move to the professional ranks, said on Wednesday: “I don’t know what I’m going to do now. But you haven’t seen the end of Paddy Barnes.”