Conlan wins to ensure Olympic bronze

Published Tuesday, 07 August 2012
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Belfast flyweight boxer Michael Conlan is guaranteed a bronze medal at the Olympics after beating Nordine Oubaali of France to reach the semi-finals.

Conlan wins to ensure Olympic bronze
Michael Conlan of Ireland (blue) defends against Nordine Oubaali. (© Getty)

There was nothing between the two fighters in a competitive first round at the ExCel Arena in London on Tuesday.

The judges scored it five points apiece after three minutes of intense action.

The pace upped in the second round and Conlan was pushed all the way.

His sharp punching kept the Team Ireland man firmly in the contest, but it remained all square with the score cards reading 12 points each heading into the third and deciding round.

Conlan, who got stronger as the contest wore on, outworked his opponent and it was his high work rate and accuracy saw him home.

He moved ahead to 22-18 to clinch victory and ensure he gets at least a bronze medal.

UTV watched the fight with some of Michael's friends and coaches from St John Bosco's who had gathered in west Belfast.

"It's unreal, I'm so proud of him," said Gerard McCafferty.

"If you see the atmosphere in here tonight everybody was in that ring with him.

"We've got another medal tonight and we're so happy - but we're not happy with bronze, we're going for the gold here!"

Stevie Martin said: "I'm delighted, over the moon for him. The first round I thought he scored two up and I couldn't believe it when it was twelve each in the second.

"But he dug deep and showed his true grit and that's what he has, plenty of heart."

And it seems Conlon's next fight could be against a Team Ireland boxing colleague, as the 20-year-old was making too much noise for Paddy Barnes.

SDLP Lower Falls Councillor Colin Keenan has congratulated the young west Belfast man on his success.

"Michael's victory was truly superb and is the product of many years of preparation and training. For the people of west Belfast, Michael is an example that demonstrates that nothing is impossible - he is an inspiration to rest of us.

"On behalf of the SDLP I wish Michael even greater success as he prepares for the semi-finals and I look forward to his return to Belfast as an Olympic Champion."

Barnes also has a chance to secure a bronze medal on Wednesday when he takes on India's Devendro Laishram in the light-flyweight quarter-finals.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Thomas in Belfast wrote (903 days ago):
To those complaining about these guys representing "The Republic"....The Irish Amateur Boxing Association organises, develops, fosters and controls amateur boxing across Ireland (including Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland). The IABA is the national governing body (NGB) for amateur boxing in the country. Boxing clubs in Ireland are represented and supported at county, provincial and national level. Boxing clubs affiliate to the IABA and are then entitled to compete at each of these three levels. The IABA has established six 'provincial councils' for Ulster, Leinster, Connaught, Munster, Antrim, and Dublin. Although Antrim and Dublin are not among the four traditional provinces of Ireland, separate councils were set up due to large volumes of boxing clubs in these two areas. Each county in Ireland is also represented by its own 'county board'.
Fintan in Belfast wrote (905 days ago):
Paul and Jack, get a life you pathetic individuals.
Stephen in West Belfast wrote (905 days ago):
Boxing in Northern & The Republic of Ireland is an all Ireland sport. GB is made up of England, Scotland & Wales so lets leave the hidden secterian, spiteful and jealous comments out of this, sport and society and enjoy the games please and thank you :) PS bring home the gold mick lad! #TeamIreland
Conor in west belfast wrote (905 days ago):
Jack in Holywood, they're actually representing Ireland, not Republic of Ireland. Team Ireland is competing as a 32 county nation at the Olympics. It's just the same as in cricket and rugby. Few sports in Ireland fall under the code of Republic of Ireland. rory McIlroy normally has the NI flag beside his name, but he represented Ireland at the Golf World Cup, not NI. Not saying to have to support them, but it would be a lot easier for you to congratulate these athletes on their outstanding performance without having to bring in your own political persuasions.
Eva in Dublin wrote (906 days ago):
@ Jack in Hollywood. How much energy does it take for you to be so negative of these great athletes? It really must eat away at you. They are not representing the Republic, they are representing Ireland. The island we live on & all share (that includes you). They are fantastic individuals and a credit to themselves, their families, their communities & this small island country & most are certainly bigger men & women than you. As a side I kept a eye on the other northern athelets who represented GB & they did fantastially well too & are certainly to be congratualted.
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