Team Ireland captain Michael Conlan has won a glorious gold at the 18th edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships. The Belfast bantamweight overcame Uzbek youngster Murodjon Akhmadaliev in an all-out war in Doha, Qatar, to become Ireland’s first ever World Championships gold medalist.
Conlan, who had cruised to the final, was made to work hard by the Central Asian but took a deserved gold medal via a unanimous decision after a big scare in the final minute.
A close first round saw Conlan edge ahead on two judges cards before the fight opened up in the second stanza. In what was a toe-to-toe battle, the Irishman showed supreme attacking prowess to outland his opponent and win the round on all cards.
Going into the third and final round up on two cards, Conlan was boxing well but was put down by a massive overhand right in the last 30 seconds. A hurt Conlan however showed boxing brains beyond his 23 years to survive to the final bell and win a history-making medal.
With the win Conlan has become the first Irishman to win gold at boxing’s toughest tournament and will now set his sites on Rio next summer where he will aim to become the first Irishman to win Commonwealth, European, World, and Olympic gold.