It was more tongue and cheek than one finger salute from Michael Conlan, but he couldn’t resist the chance to have another go at the AIBA this morning.
The amateur boxing enthusiast watched on as Frazer Clarke looked to have secured himself a coveted World Championship medal, only to have the guaranteed bronze all but ripped from his hand hours later.
The British super-heavyweight won his quarter-final clash with Maksim Babanin in Ekaterinburg on a split decision, but the Russian team lodged an appeal.
The final round scoring was reviewed and the result was overturned, meaning Russian Babanin and not Clarke is guaranteed a bronze medal.
“The best moment of my career and the worst happened within a few hours of each other,” tweeted Clarke.
“It’s out of my hands; I just turn up and compete. This has to go to people with more knowledge and understanding of the situation.”
While it didn’t play out in similar fashion, Conlan has major tournament quarterfinal history of his own with the AIBA and Russian opposition and also knows what it’s like to feel ‘cheated’.
His by now infamous Rio 2016 defeat to Vladimir Nikitin is known as one of the biggest ring robberies in the history of amateur boxing. The Belfast fighter, now an undefeated pro, out boxed and then out fought the Russian, but was denied victory by the scoring judges.
Indeed, Conlan inflicted such a beating on Nikitin, that the Russian had to pull out of his semi final injured.
There was such outrage and upset that the IABA had to take action and sent home those who judged that fight.
Yet as he hinted at on social media today, unlike Babanin Conlan wasn’t reinstated into the tournament nor was he given a medal.
Speaking on social media today Conlan, who looks to rematch Nikitin in New York in December, sympathized with the big Brit and sent another jibe the way of the AIBA.
— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) September 19, 2019
Today’s turn around would have been more controversial had an Olympic place been up for grabs.
The World Championships have been used as a qualifying tool for the Olympics, but that changed after it was suspended by the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC will now run two qualifying tournaments in the spring of 2020.