Monday 6 February 2023 Dublin: 1°C
# Unprecedented
Conlan becomes the first Irishman to win gold at the World Boxing Championships
The 23-year-old bantamweight fighter defeated Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan this evening.

HISTORY MAKER MICHAEL Conlan has claimed Ireland’s first ever male World Championship gold at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiya Arena.

Michael Conlan is declared the winner Francis Myers / INPHO Francis Myers / INPHO / INPHO

The Belfast bantamweight recorded a 3-0 win (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) over Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan in their 56kg final in Doha tonight.

A shocked silence descended on the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiya Arena in the third round, however, when Conlan was put on the canvas by a massive right hook form the Uzbek.

The No 22 and Asian Games silver medallist had forced Conlan to fight on the inside with the Irish captain having to abandon his usual slick, fleet-footed style.

“I’m speechless and a phenomenal atmosphere picked me up off the canvas,” said a relieved but delighted Conlan.

“It made me keep going.”

Conlan boxed courageously, winning all three rounds, including the last, despite the knockdown, and showed heart to rise off the canvas and see out the win with some 20 seconds to go.

“It was probably the best punch I’ve ever been hit with in my life. I’ve never been down in my life. It hit me sweet on the chin, but I have phenomenal fitness so I recovered really quickly and I’m really happy.”

Meanwhile, Michael O’Reilly came out the wrong side of a highly-questionable points decision, losing a third-place middleweight box-off for Olympic qualification.

The Portlaoise man lost a 3-0 decision to African champ Hosam Abdin, leaving O’Reilly shocked in the ring when the 29-28 decision on all cards was announced.

“I’m absolutely gutted myself, I don’t know what went on, it’s just ridiculous. In my mind I was up and won every round easy. I’m still in shock,” said O’Reilly immediately after the bout.

African champion Abdin fought with intelligent pressure in the first round, but landed few shots of significance, but the judges all scored the bout 29-28 in favour of the Egyptian with O’Reilly winning only the last round on the cards.

The judges – from Uzbekistan, Cuba and Mongolia – all had identical cards, while live scoring was not shown at the arena for the first time at the tournament so far.

Joe Ward will be out to claim Ireland’s second gold at the tournament on Thursday night when he meets Cuba’s two-time world champ Julio La Cruz.

Ward already sealed his Olympic qualification by reaching the 81kg final, but the Moate light-heavyweight wants more, according to head coach Billy Walsh.

“The Cuban gave us a boxing exhibition last time…. but we have a better Joe Ward now,” said Walsh.

‘Disgraceful!’ – People were NOT happy with how Ireland’s Michael O’Reilly was judged today

In a busy week of sport, don’t forget Michael Conlan is on the brink of history

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