Eddie Bolger: “There’s rumours around the Village that names are on medals already”

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Irish coach Eddie Bolger cut a despondent figure following Mick Conlan’s unjust loss this afternoon in Rio.

The Belfast bantamweight farcically exited at the quarter final stage to Russian Vladimir Nikitin, despite dominating throughout.

Afterwards Wexford’s Bolger spoke to RTÉ and the shell-shocked coach felt that “something’s afoot. I think the media should highlight it more than us, we can’t really speak.”

“There are rumours around the village that names are on the medals already, but you don’t want to believe.”

Additionally the well-respected coach noted that the earlier Michael O’Reilly controversy could perhaps have been a factor, and hypothesised that “we kind of embarrassed the AIBA at the start and maybe we’re being punished for that, I don’t know the real reason.”

“It’s just boggling.”

On Conlan’s fight itself, in which the 24 year old produced some sensational work, Bolger argued that “I thought there was only winner, I thought there was only one winner yesterday [in Katie Taylor’s fight].”

“Again our performances in the ring have been second to none, they’ve been really good. We’ve competed with the best in the world here, there have been a few split decisions and we really can’t control those decisions.”

“I’m so proud of Michael Conlan, I’m so proud of Katie yesterday. They’ve held themselves together better than I have.”

“I’m so proud of all the team. This is has been a great Olympics. We’ve learned a lot.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie