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Irish Boxer Accuses 'Corrupt' Judges of Favoring Russia

Ireland's Michael John Conlan gestures after losing a men's quarterfinals boxing match against Russia's Vladimir Nikitin at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Jae C. Hong / AP

Russian boxer Vladimir Nikitin has found his Olympic quarterfinal victory marred with controversy after his Irish opponent, Michael Conlan, accused ringside judges of corruption.

Commentators were left stunned with the judges’ 29-28 decision in favor of Nikitin in the bantamweight match. Angry fans on social media speculated that the match had been fixed in favor of the Russian, claiming that Conlan landed more clean punches.

Conran himself took to social media after the fight, tweeting Russian President Vladimir Putin's official twitter channel "how much did they charge you bro?" 

Conlan had earlier In a ringside interview with Irish broadcaster RTE launched a foul-mouthed tirade against the governing body for amateur boxing (AIBA), calling them “the most corrupt organization in the world.”

“AIBA are cheats, simple as that. They’re known for being cheats and they’ve always been cheats,” he said.

Nikitin is not the only Russian boxer to face controversy at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Russian Evgeny Tishchenko was booed after judges awarded him victory in the heavyweight final on Tuesday, with the crowd believing his Kazakh opponent Vassiliy Levit had come out on top.

In an interview with Kazakh media, Russian boxing coach Eduard Kravtsov agreed that the better fighter hadn’t won.

“We all saw who won the fight. I am for fair judging and I want the work of coaches and boxers to be assessed fairly,” he said. "Such situations do not present our sport in a good light.”  

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