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Irish Olympic boxer flips off judges, calls out Vladimir Putin after losing
Michael Conlan would like to ask Putin a simple question.
Irish boxer Michael Conlan expected to win a gold medal at the Rio Olympics. After all, he took home a bronze at the London Games in 2012, and he won the 2015 bantamweight world championship. This was what he tweeted last week.
So, you can understand why Conlan would be upset at losing by unanimous decision in the quarterfinals to Russian Vladimir Nikitin, meaning Conlan wouldn’t medal at all. But just how pissed was he?
He accused the judges of robbing him, flipping them the bird, and then he went after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Twitter.
In case it’s not clear, that’s Conlan insinuating (or jokingly insinuating) that Putin paid off the judges so the Russian fighter would be given a shady decision. But seriously, Conlan was livid with the outcome, as he showcased with this epic double-bird flip…
…And with his postfight interview.
To be fair, the judging at Olympic boxing tournaments oftentimes is hideous. In fact, an American light welterweight named Gary Antuanne Russell apparently was ripped off during his quarterfinals match on Wednesday, meaning he won’t have a chance at a medal either.
Though the punch statistics don’t always tell the tale—it’s not completely unusual for a boxer who threw and landed the most punches in a fight to not be declared the winner—these particular stats are one-sided enough to show that Conlan was most likely correct to be outraged.
So, yeah, Conlan is right. Amateur boxing, much of the time, stinks to the core and it’s not often fair. But then again, life can be the same way.
H/T the Comeback
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.