McLaren Report: Michael Conlan says final result of Rio corruption investigation is ‘vindication’

Michael Conlan says an unbiased investigation – which discovered an off-the-cuff bout manipulation system existed in beginner boxing on the 2016 Olympics – is “vindication” for his Rio end result.

Conlan was denied a second Olympic medal when he misplaced to Vladimir Nikitin in his bantamweight quarter-final – to the disbelief of most observers.

That struggle final result is amongst 11 “deemed suspicious” within the report’s findings.

“It has been a very long time coming, however I am delighted,” mentioned the Belfast boxer.

Conlan added: “I did not count on this to occur, however the truth that it has and my struggle has been referred to as out, it is not information to me, however it’s excellent news.

“It is a huge day for beginner boxing and for Olympic sport.

“The black mark of Rio will all the time sit there and the considered ‘what may have been’ will all the time be there for me.”

Professor Richard McLaren, head of the investigation – commissioned by the Worldwide Boxing Affiliation (AIBA) – outlined the primary findings of the stage-one report at a information convention in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday.

The report states that “roughly 9 bouts” have been “suspicious past the 2 raised within the media on the time”. One of many latter was Conlan’s controversial split-decision loss to Nikitin and the opposite a gold-medal heavyweight match between Russia’s Evgeny Tishchenko and Kazakhstan’s Vasily Levit.

Conlan made clear his dismay on the bout being awarded in Nikitin’s favour by making a thumbs down gesture after the announcement of the break up determination – and in interviews afterwards stating he had been “robbed”.

The accidents sustained by Nikitin within the contest meant he was unable to struggle American Shakur Stevenson in his semi-final.

The ‘what if’ will all the time be there

“I feel if I hadn’t mentioned what I mentioned – and carried out what I did – this most likely would not be taking place now so it is an enormous day, particularly for the fellows who suffered in Rio, together with myself. It is vindication,” mentioned Conlan, 29.

“On the similar time, it stole a dream that I had since I used to be a child of being an Olympic champion. That ‘what if’ will all the time be there.

“I simply hope now the choices could be overturned as a result of I wasn’t the one one. I would be more than pleased to obtain an Olympic medal and that will be a little bit of justice in itself.

“I would love that to occur, to be upgraded and get a medal. Even when I do not get a medal, in the event that they mentioned I used to be quantity three on the Video games, that will be good.

“On the similar time, I would not wish to see the fellows who benefited due to the corruption lose out, as a result of it wasn’t their fault.

“What I did in Rio has modified Olympic boxing for good as a result of it has resulted on this report. It resulted within the AIBA being kicked out of the Tokyo Olympics and I do not suppose that has ever been carried out.”

Conlan beat Nikitin on factors in an expert featherweight contest in December 2019

‘What occurred in Rio benefited my profession’

Conlan doesn’t consider the injustice of his Rio defeat has had a detrimental impact on his skilled profession and he at present boasts 16 wins from 16 bouts. The final was a unanimous factors win over TJ Doheny to elevate the vacant WBA interim featherweight title on 6 August.

The featherweight’s wins to this point additionally embrace a factors victory over Nikitin in New York again in December 2019.

Conlan, the London 2012 bronze medallist and former world, European and Commonwealth beginner champion, added: “In a method, what occurred to me in Rio has most likely benefited my profession greater than if I had received gold – and never getting a medal hasn’t actually affected my earnings.

“If every part hadn’t labored out the best way it has I might have appeared again and been disgusted, however issues have labored out for the very best and put me in a greater place than if I had received gold.”

Subsequent in Conlan’s sights is a probable assembly with WBA featherweight title holder Leigh Wooden, the Nottingham native having crushed Xu Can in Brentwood in July to assert that belt.

“The following struggle for me supposedly is Leigh Wooden. I feel it is received an extension on purse bids so we’ll wait to see the results of that and what method it really works out and when it could actually occur.

“I charge him very extremely and I would count on a really powerful bout. It is going to be the hardest problem of my profession, however I will seize the chance with each palms.”

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