Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

George Best Breakthrough Awars winner: Michael Conlan

Michael Conlan collects his award from Northern Ireland football manager Michael O’Neill
Ballyclare High School
Janice McGeagh, Wendy Houvenaghel and Todd Kelman

Before the Olympics, only the boxing fraternity were aware of the talent of young Belfast fighter Michael Conlan.

Thanks to his outstanding displays in London, now all followers of sport recognise the name.

And in winning a bronze medal at the Games, the 21-year-old from the St John Bosco club has been awarded the prestigious George Best Breakthrough award for 2012.

Flyweight Conlan says that his pal Paddy Barnes inspired him in London.

Well, now Michael is inspiring other young boxers around Northern Ireland. In his opening Olympic bout Conlan, then just 20, was too strong for Duke Micah from Ghana before producing a fabulous performance in the quarter finals to defeat Frenchman Nordine Oubaali 22-18 in a cracking contest.

Guaranteed at least a bronze, Michael faced classy Cuban Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana in the last four but the Ulsterman was defeated.

Beaten but not bowed, Conlan had shown genuine quality in London to earn a medal. Don't be surprised to see this affable young man achieve greater success in the future.

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