World Amateur bantamweight champion Mick Conlan infamously was defeated at the quarter-final stage and this result led to allegations of corruption within the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
Today it has emerged that allegations were also made officially from one of the top brass in the AIBA.
Joe Hennigan, Irish team manager for the Games in Brazil, stated that the result of Conlan v Nikitin – along with Katie Taylor’s lightweight quarter-final loss to Mira Potkonen – was pre-determined.
While there are no details regarding the alleged fight-fixing for Taylor’s bout, Hennigan explained how Georgian-born Irish coach Zaur Antia was told by an unnamed Russian coach that Conlan had no hope of beating Nikitin.
This information was passed to Hennigan who attempted to inform Council of Ireland (OCI) president Pat Hickey.
Hennigan wrote that “we went back to the village that evening and Zauri informed me that the Russian coach had told him that Michael Conlan’s medal was gone as were others and we would want to protect our boxers.”
“Following this we tried on numerous occasions to see Pat Hickey to get him to intervene he was never available – I finally got to speak to him at an event the following day and explained the problem to him.”
Mayo’s Hennigan, now IABA Vice President, added that “it was sickening to think we definitely lost two contests [Conlan and Taylor] because of corruption and you would argue Joe Ward’s one as well with bad refereeing.”
This story of a Russian insider forewarning the Irish had already been told by Conlan’s older brother Jamie, however for it to be stated in an IABA report is major.
The OCI told The Irish Times that they were wholly unaware of Hennigan’s report and the allegations of bout-fixing.
A spokesperson says “the OCI is not aware of this report and yes would welcome a copy. The allegations of bout-fixing you refer to from the report are shocking.”