The Belfast bantamweight, the reigning AIBA World champion, was farcical adjudged to have lost against Vladimir Nikitin this afternoon in Rio despite dominating throughout the majority of the nine minutes.
A boxing masterclass in the opening round was ignored by the scoring judges at ringside, and while he leveled the scores in the second with a destructive performance, the judges again went against the Irishman in a somewhat closer final round.
Speaking afterwards to the BBC, a distraught Conlan recalled his reaction after the opening round, describing how “I got information [that he had lost the round] after I sat down.”
“In the first round I was like ‘this is so easy,’ I was so comfortable. I wasn’t even out of breath, I was like ‘I’m winning this easy.'”
“Then I was told I was down and I had to go to war, which I did, I outfought him at his own game and I pulled back that round.”
“Then I thought in the last round I outfought him too.”
“But, y’know, it is what it is, Ive been robbed of my Olympic dream, but I’ve been robbed by a bunch of cheaters so it doesn’t matter to me.”