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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

'You can't win better' - Resigned Zaur Antia baffled by judges' verdicts

The Team Ireland coach reckons Irish boxers have been victims of bad decisions.

Michael Conlan bowed out of Rio to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin.
Michael Conlan bowed out of Rio to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin.

IRISH TEAM COACH Zaur Antia is one of many boxing voices to dismiss the judges’ decisions in Rio.

“Everybody says here that Katie Taylor was robbed, and everyone will [say] now, I’m sure, that Michael was robbed”, he told RTÉ after the fight.

Speaking about the judges, he said: “They can [say] now tomorrow ‘We are not corrupt, we gave second round’”.

Antia was baffled when the judges awarded the first round to Conlan’s opponent, Vladimir Nikitin.

“The first round was such a clean win. You can’t win better.”

Despite the round going against them, Antia said that they tried to adapt to bring the judges back on side.

“3-0 he was down, in the first round, which was something terrible, but acceptable”, he said, before describing how Conlan changed to fight a closer distance in subsequent rounds.

“If there was correct judging and if they gave Mike how he deserved, he would continue.”

Antia likened the poor judging to yesterday’s fight in which Katie Taylor was defeated. Antia described her opponent, Finnish fighter Mira Potkonen, as ”a girl who don’t know boxing”.

Ireland will now leave Rio without a medal in boxing, in what was expected to be our most prolific sport.

“It’s not nice. We will learn from this. We had good success at the Olympic Games before. Sometimes you can’t be always there. Sometimes you go down. [You] need clean things and [you] need to correct things. [You] need to work better, find what was the problem and move forwards. That’s life.”

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About the author:

Eoin Lúc Ó Ceallaigh

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