Rio Olympics: Heartbroken Michael Conlan reflects on 'bit wild' post-fight interview as he thanks fans
Conlan: When the dust settles, the only thing we have that matters is family
Defeated Olympics boxer Michael Conlan took comfort in the arms of his young family saying they were "the only thing that matters" as he thanked his fans for their support in the wake of his controversial Rio exit.
He also said his immediate reaction to the waiting press following the defeat was "a bit wild" but that it was his true emotions.
The 24-year-old Belfast boxer reacted furiously after his devastating bantamweight quarter-final loss to Russian Vladimir Nikitin on Tuesday.
The loss means the world amateur champion leaves the Games with his dream of a gold medal shattered.
He vented his frustration in an expletive-laden tirade on live television moments after branding amateur boxing "stinking and cheats".
He also hit out at Russian President Vladimir Putin suggesting he had a hand in paying off the judges that lead to his defeat.
Conlan was fuming after he lost in the bantamweight quarter-final bout on a unanimous decision.
All three judges felt that the Russian won the first and third rounds much to the dismay of devastated fans who quickly voiced their annoyance on social media.
That is the best I've ever seen @mickconlan11 box and that is the worst decision I've ever seen! Complete disgrace!!!— Tommy McCarthy (@Tommymac90) August 16, 2016
That is a outrageous decision. @mickconlan11 won that fight. Amateur boxing is corrupt.— Brian Gregan (@BrianGregan89) August 16, 2016
Speechless— Andy Lee (@AndyLeeBoxing) August 16, 2016
Olympic boxings so corrupt! Boxers spend 4 years training for these championships, to get robbed after 9 mins. I've seen 20+ wrong decisions— Shane McGuigan (@McGuigans_Gym) August 15, 2016
Amateur/Olympic boxing, whatever you call it, is rotten!! Commiserations to all those athletes cheated out of their dreams!!— Conrad Cummings (@ChampCummings) August 16, 2016
If there's a condition beyond disgust & anger, I'm there & I'm just an armchair punter. Imagine how @mickconlan11 feels— eamon carr (@carrtogram) August 16, 2016
But as the boxer, who was representing Ireland at the Olympics, reflected saying his response had been a "bit wild" as he thanked fans for their support.
He posted on Facebook: "Heartbroken, a picture that speaks a thousand words, my reaction was a bit wild but it was my true emotions. How can I stay quiet and take it on the chin when I have dedicated 18 years of my life for the one goal of being an Olympic Champion, to have that ripped away from me like it was is devastating!
"I would like to thank everyone who has been supporting throughout my career so far and throughout these games, you have all been amazing I truly appreciate everything!"
He posted a picture on Twitter of his family and said that they were what mattered.
When the dust settles, the only thing we have that matters is family thanks for the amazing support 2day everyone! pic.twitter.com/tWF7hhsE3d— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) August 16, 2016
Meanwhile, a five-year-old has offered Michael Conlan his sports day medal after the shocking defeat.
Belfast Telegraph Digital