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Rio Olympics: Michael Conlan 'loses' but Paddy Power promises to pay out to those who backed Irish boxer

Paddy Power has announced it will pay out on all bets which picked Belfast boxer Michael Conlan as the winner in the boxing quarter-final match against Russia's Vladimir Nikitin in Rio.

The Belfast boxer lost on an unanimous decision to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin in the quarter-finals.

Paddy Power said it will also pay out all bets on the boxer winning a medal or winning gold.

A spokesman for the betting company said: "This whole thing stinks, absolutely stinks. Our heart goes out to Michael Conlan after he was robbed of victory.

"The entire country was behind Michael and as you might imagine we took plenty of bets from patriotic punters who were backing him to do the business but it is only fair that we pay out on him as the winner."

The world champion was furious after he was judged to have lost the first and third rounds on Tuesday afternoon.

The result means that Ireland will return home from Olympics without a medal from the boxing ring for the first time since 2004.

There were audible gasps from the crowd when the Russian's hand was raised in victory.

He told RTE: "AIBA cheats, f**king cheats. That's me, I'll never box for AIBA again, they're cheating bastards, they're paying everybody.

"I don't give a f**k for cursing on TV. That's the end of my olympic gold. My dream has been shattered now. I have a big career ahead of me. These ones are known for being cheats, they have always been cheats. Amateur boxing stinks from the core right to the top."

London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor went out in controversial circumstances on Monday to Finland's Mira Potkonen.

Read more

Rio Olympics: Shocked Katie Taylor vows to fight on after defeat 

Conlan added: "Katie yesterday, I don't know why she lost that fight. It was a close fight but she didn't lose. Today, I thought I boxed the ears off him in the first round, and they ruled against me. I had to go to his fight, which I did , outfought him and they were just being a bit.

"It's a shambles to be honest. I don't even care what I say now. I'm gutted from the bottom of my heart. I wanted to go back  a gold medal to Ireland."

'Robbed of my Olympic dream'

Conlan told the BBC his Olympic dream has been "shattered".

"It's been robbed. I came for gold and I've been cheated. I'll not do another Olympics. I would advise anybody not to compete for the AIBA (Amateur International Boxing Association).

"At the end of the first round, it had been so easy, so comfortable, I wasn't even out of breath. I said 'I'll win this easy'. But I was told I was down. I had to go to war, which I did.

"I fought him at his own game. I pulled back that second round then I outfought him in the last round. I've been robbed of my Olympic dream."

Michael Conlan wasn't the only boxer who couldn't conceal his fury. Irish boxing team captain Paddy Barnes was also quick to blast the sport's governing body, the AIBA, on Twitter, while Andy Lee and Matthew Macklin also questioned the judges scoring.

Barnes lost a similarly close decision in his first fight, but the manner of Conlan's defeat prompted some strong words from the two-time Olympic bronze medalist. Barnes tweeted: "@AIBA_Boxing you're a f**king disgrace to sport!".

Meanwhile Irish boxing coach Zaur Antia claimed judges gave Conlan the second round of the bout so they could claim they weren't corrupt.

The head-coach spoke to RTÉ after the decision.

Antia said: "Sometimes this happens. Sometimes you are going down and and again you are moving forward. I have big criticism about Katie Taylor who yesterday won against girl.

"100pc everybody says that Katie Taylor was robbed and everyone will tell now, I'm sure, that Mike was robbed. Three nil they gave against [first round]. Second round three nil gave to Michael. They can tell now tomorrow: 'We are not corrupt, we gave second round'."

Asked where Irish boxing goes from here, Antia responded: "This is not nice, we have to learn from this. We had good success at last Olympic games and before that. You can't be always there, sometimes you are going down.

"Need clean things, need correct things and need work better, find what's problems and move again onwards."

Antia said the team changed tactics after Conlan controversially lost the first round against his Russian opponent.

"We gave him tactics the tactic was from the beginning the long distance fight. He did it. The first round finished it was such a clean win, you can't win any better."

Antia said: "Then we have to go close fight. That's what happened, he was down 3-0 first round which was something terrible, unacceptable. Then we told him he has to work. He work him close. It was now a different fight. Michael was more clean"

The result comes after a hugely controversial decision in Monday's heavyweight boxing final when Russian Evgeny Tishchenko was declared the winner over Kazakhstan's Vassiliy Levit.

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