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Defeated Rio hopeful Michael Conlan offered school medal by young fan

Published 17/08/2016

Michael Conlan had been the last Irish boxer left at the Olympics
Michael Conlan had been the last Irish boxer left at the Olympics

A young boxing fan has offered defeated Olympic hopeful Michael Conlan his school medal.

The Belfast sportsman departed the Rio Olympics with a foul-mouthed tirade after finding himself on the wrong end of a controversial unanimous decision against Russia's Vladimir Nikitin in their bantamweight quarter-final on Tuesday.

The reigning world champion could not hide his anger when the three judges sided with his opponent after three fast and furious rounds, leaving his dream of building on his bronze medal at London 2012 in tatters.

Conlan fired expletives during post-fight interviews in Brazil.

Five-year-old Finn McManus and his sister, Lily, aged nine, from Co Dublin, wrote a touching letter to his hero.

"I saw your fight in Rio and you should have won because you are the best.boxer in the world.

"I want you to have my school medal because you are a winner. I hope you like it."

Their mother then sent a photo of Finn's medal and the handwritten letter by private message to Conlan on Facebook.

It has been posted more widely on social media.

Conlan was the last Irish boxer standing in the competition after shock early defeats for Paddy Barnes and Katie Taylor, and was expected to move through to the medal rounds again.

The Olympic Council of Ireland has said it does not condone his post-fight comments or conduct and will evaluate the matter before taking any action.

Conlan tweeted: "Very warming message from this young lad, if anyone knows who he is, could they please tell him I have a gift for him."

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From Belfast Telegraph