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Michael Conlan loss the experts' view: Return to computer scoring would make officials accountable for dreadful injustices

By David Kelly

Published 17/08/2016

You got it wrong: Michael Conlan shows what he thinks of the judges' decision in Rio
You got it wrong: Michael Conlan shows what he thinks of the judges' decision in Rio
Michael John Conlan of Ireland during his fight with Vladimir Nikitin (not pictured) of Russia in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Blood covered Russia's Vladimir Nikitin reacts to winning against Ireland's Michael John Conlan during the Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Riocentro - Pavilion 6 in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Ireland's Michael John Conlan (R) fights Russia's Vladimir Nikitin during the Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Riocentro - Pavilion 6 in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Yuri CORTEZYURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Vladimir Nikitin of Russia is introduced to his fight with Michael John Conlan (not pictured) of Ireland in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Vladimir Nikitin (R) of Russia fights Michael John Conlan of Ireland in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Michael John Conlan (L) of Ireland fights Vladimir Nikitin of Russia in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Vladimir Nikitin (R) of Russia fights Michael John Conlan of Ireland in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Michael John Conlan (L) of Ireland fights Vladimir Nikitin of Russia in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Vladimir Nikitin (L) of Russia throws a left on Michael John Conlan of Ireland in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Vladimir Nikitin (R) of Russia fights Michael John Conlan of Ireland in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Vladimir Nikitin (L) of Russia throws a left on Michael John Conlan of Ireland in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Vladimir Nikitin (L) of Russia celebrates his victory over Michael John Conlan of Ireland in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Michael John Conlan of Ireland jestures to the crowd after his defeat to Vladimir Nikitin (not pictured) of Russia in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Vladimir Nikitin (L) of Russia throws a left on Michael John Conlan of Ireland in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Vladimir Nikitin (L) of Russia celebrates his victory over Michael John Conlan of Ireland in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Vladimir Nikitin of Russia celebrates his victory over Michael John Conlan (not pictured) of Ireland in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Michael John Conlan of Ireland jestures to the crowd after his defeat to Vladimir Nikitin (not pictured) of Russia in the boxing Men's Bantam (56kg) Quarterfinal 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Ireland's Michael John Conlan, bottom, gestures after losing a men's bantamweight 56-kg quarterfinals boxing match by a decision against Russia's Vladimir Nikitin at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

David Kelly asks the experts what they make of Michael Conlan's defeat.

Bring back computer scoring

Commonwealth Games, Olympic coach and Holy Trinity coach Michael Hawkins: I was there the night that the great Roy Jones lost in the Olympic final of 1988 to Park Si-Hun and that was the worst decision ever. Michael Conlan's loss is right up there with that.

These decisions are sadly something that every amateur boxing coach has had to deal with whether it's at the local, national or international level.

Michael clearly won the fight against the Russian. In the first round he was so dominant, boxing beautifully and how all three judges decided that the Russian won it is just staggering.

Then, because Michael realised he was behind, he decided to stand and fight with the guy and he outfought him and in the third round he fought and boxed and won that as well. It's a total disgrace.

These are the kind of decisions that leave boxers, coaches and parents disillusioned with the sport and there was another one the day before involving Evgeny Tishchenko who was booed when winning the heavyweight gold.

It would be very easy to become negative but you have to have some hope and believe there's a reason in going to the gym every night to coach kids and encouraging them to get up rain hail or snow to go running at six o'clock in the morning.

But something has to change, there needs to be a new committee at the head of world boxing.

We've had it before and it starts off well and then things just seem to go back to the way they were. But we have to try and we need new people at the top.

One thing that has to change right away is that we need to go back to the computer scoring.

The computer scoring came in after the Jones defeat and from then we could see who the cheats were - who was hitting the red or blue button, there was a complete reading of the whole bout. It meant that people were accountable.

Best bantam in world and will be a great pro

I'm really disappointed for Mick because he's a great guy and a great boxer.

I've known him and the family for a long time and I know how much winning the gold medal meant to Mick and everyone around him.

He was brilliant in the first round, you could see that the game-plan was to outbox the guy and it worked a treat.

Then he had to go and fight the guy in the next round and he showed that he could out-fight him as well.

He also won the third round so for me he was a clear winner and I think everybody thought the same thing.

He was by far the better boxer and he was landing the cleaner shots so I just can't see how they gave it against him.

He was the best boxer at the weight, that's why he won the world title last year and he was ready to shine again on the biggest stage of all. You have to wonder what the politics is behind this result.

Michael will move on from this and he has a massive future in the professional business.

Eamonn O'Kane, Commonwealth Games gold medalist in 2010

Poor decisions like this damage the sport

The decision against Michael Conlan was just terrible and it's ridiculous that there is no appeal system.

Apart from the decision, Vladimir Nikitin shouldn't even have been in the quarter-finals. I saw him in his previous contest and I thought he lost to a Thai boxer. In fact, when he went through I thought that was great news for Michael because his style was made for Michael.

I thought Michael easily won the fight - he won every round and on my card it would have been 30-27.

It's ridiculous that there's no way of appealing a decision like that.

It's terrible for the sport and it's happening too many times.

I just don't understand why these decisions are allowed to happen because this is meant to be all about sport but people are playing with careers.

It's just heartbreaking because Michael was favourite for the gold. This really needs to be looked into, we can't keep having decisions like this - everybody knew Michael won.

Martin Lindsay, former British featherweight champion

Judges' scoring left a sour taste in the mouth

There's a real sense of corruption surrounding Michael Conlan's defeat.

Nobody in their right mind would have given the Russian the first round. Conlan produced some brilliant boxing to win that round. Then he had to change his tactics.

The whole thing read like a set-up. He loses the first round, they all then give him the second to make it look good and then he wins the third round but they all go the same way and give it to the Russian - trying to take the bad look off it but it didn't work.

The break-up of the Soviet Union brought in a lot of new countries but they still look to Russia as the Motherland.

They still see themselves as satellite states of Russia. The fact is Russia is showing everyone that they can do what they like and they don't care about threats of being banned from the Olympics.

This was a terrible decision against a brilliant boxer - he's the world champion and if it can happen to him then it can happen to anybody.

Something has to be done with the world governing body, there needs to be change and if it was me I would ban all officials from judging ever again.

It's the only way to stamp out this kind of thing.

You could see from the body language at the end of the fight that the Russian knew he hadn't won.

Everybody could see that Conlan had won the fight and now he has been robbed of his dream that he has worked so hard for.

Now he has to try and pick himself up and look ahead to a new career as a professional.

He has tremendous ability and I'm sure that a lot of people will be keen to sign him, including the Americans, because he's so good.

Pat Magee, manager of ex-world champion Brian Magee and hot prospect Tommy McCarthy

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