Michael Conlan struck Gold for Ireland at the 2015 AIBA Elite Championships in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday with a convincing 3:0 victory over Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev and in so doing became the first Irishman to win a coveted AIBA World title.
The Irish captain – and Clonard clubman – beat Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev in the bantamweight final on a unanimous decision to finish on top of the bantamweight podium on an historic night for Irish boxing.
“Absolutely elated, it has been a dream of everybody in Irish boxing to have a World Elite champion, said Ireland’s HPU coach Billy Walsh.
“Since the games began in 1974 the IABA have been trying. This is the first time we’ve had a World (male) champion and I’m over the moon.
“The plan went out the window pretty quickly after thirty seconds. The plan was to outbox this guy, but Mick felt he was physical and that he wouldn’t be able to be up on his toes for the three rounds.
“We saw that in the round ourselves. When he came back (after the round), we say, okay, let’s beat him at his own game, but we’ve got to push him back and not let him push us around the ring.
“The last round he got hit by a rocket of a right hook and ended up on his backside. Thankfully, he had the wherewithal pretty quickly to get himself back up.”
“I’m a world champion so there’s not much else you can say,” said the new World champion despite that dramatic late knock-down.
“I’m a bit embarrassed at getting knocked down in the last round. It is the first time I have been on the canvass in my life. He hit me right on the button,” he told RTE later.
“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,” continued Conlan, who also paid tribute to the
large Irish expat following who had come to support himself and Michael O’Reilly on Wednesday.
“The Irish crowd, I have never seen anything like in my life. I don’t even have this support at home, I’m completely over the moon,” added Conlan.
“The plan today was to box but the way he was coming forward it was going to be hard to box him for the full three rounds so I knew I just had to take the steam out of him and push him back.”
Walsh said he was bewildered by the decision that went against Michael O’Reilly in his controversial defeat to Egypt’s Hossam Abdin.
Both men met in a box-off for a middleweight place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but Abdin was somehow adjudged to have won.
“It was terrible, I haven’t got words to describe that decision. I don’t know what the judges were looking at. I’m really bewildered by the result,” added Walsh.
Meanwhile, Joe Ward meets Cuba’s Julio La Cruz for light-heavy gold in Doha tomorrow evening. Boxing begins at 5pm(Irish time).
Team Ireland are due to arrive home from the 18th AIBA World Elite Championships at 5.10pm on Friday afternoon via Dublin Airport.
The squad will be bringing home one gold, one bronze and at least one silver to mark Ireland’s most successful World Championships campaign.
Among the first to pay tribute to her good friend and Irish team mate was Katie Taylor, who holds FIVE Golds in AIBA World championships.
Katie Taylor @KatieTaylor .
Amazing from @mickconlan11. Champion of the world!!! He can’t be beaten! #HistoryMaker #Gold
As for the Judges in the O’Reilly fight it would be difficult, nigh impossible to find a worse decision than that reached by those three UN-wise men from Cuba, Uzbekistan and Mongolia.
An early visit to Specsavers is recommended together with a period of rest from boxing duties, preferably a lengthy spell on the sidelines and a re-training course before they are allowed inside the ropes again.
(Flight details – Aer Lingus EI167 16OCT London Heathrow Dublin 1550 1710)
AIBA World Elite Championships
October 6th (last 32)
49kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) beat Nico Hernandez (USA) 3-0
64kg Dean Walsh (Ireland) lost to Luis Dian Arcon (Venezuela) 1-2
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Valerii Kharlamov (Ukraine) 3-0
October (7th) (Last 32)
60kg Sean McComb (Ireland) beat Lindolfo Garcia Delgado (Mexico) 3-0
69kg Adam Nolan (Ireland) lost to Eimantas Stanionis (Lithuania) 1-2
October 8th (last 16)
49kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) beat Muhammet Unlu (Turkey) 2-1
56kg Michael Conlan (Ireland) beat Robenilson de Jesus (Brazil) 2-0
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Daniel Lewis (Australia) 3-0
October 9th (last 16)
60kg Sean McComb (Ireland) lost to Albert Selimov (Azerbaijan) 1-2
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Oleksandr Kyyzhniak (Ukraine) 3-0
October 10th (Q/Finals)
49kg: Brendan Irvine (Ireland) lost to Joahnys Argilagos (Cuba) 0-3
56kg: Michael Conlan (Ireland) beat Tayfur Aliyev (Azerbaijan) 3-0
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Zhanubek Alimhanuly (Kazakhstan) 2-1
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Mikhail Baudhaliavets (Belarus) 3-0
October 11th (S/Finals)
56kg Michael Conlan (Ireland) beat Dmitry Asanu (Belarus) 3-0
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) lost to Bektemir Melkuziev (Uzbekistan) 1-2
October 12th (S/Finals)
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Ishod Rasulov (Uzbekistan) 3-0
October 14th (Final)
56kg Michael Conlan (Ireland) beat Murodjon Akhmadaliev (Uzbekistan) 3-0
October 14th (Olympic box-off)
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) lost Hossam Abdin (Egypt) 0-3
(Winner qualifies for Rio 2016)
October 15th (Final)
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) v Julio La Cruz (Cuba)
49kg Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s)
56kg Michael Conlan (Clonard) cpt (Gold)
60kg Sean McComb (Holy Trinity)
64kg Dean Walsh (St Joesphs/St IBars)
69kg Adam Nolan (Bray)
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise) (Bronze)
81kg Joe Ward (AIBA Pro Boxing) (Silver, at least)
Team Manager: Joe Hennigan
Coaches: Billy Walsh, Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger
Scorecards here : http://www.iaba.ie/site3/wp-