“AIBA cheats, it f—- king cheats,” Conlan told Ireland’s RTE Sport. “That’s me, I’ll never box for AIBA again, they’re cheating bastards, they’re paying everybody. I don’t give a f— if I’m cursing on TV. … That’s the end of my Olympic gold. My dream has been shattered now. But you know what? I’ve a big career ahead of me and these ones, they’re known for being cheats and they’ll always be cheats. Amateur boxing stinks from the core right to the top.”
Later, the 24-year-old Conlan tweeted at Vladimir Putin to ask how much the Russian president paid AIBA to fix Tuesday’s bout in Nikitin’s favor.
A Russian boxer was on the winning side of another controversial decision on Monday, when Evgeny Tishchenko was, in the words of AP columnist Tim Dahlberg, “handed an inexplicable decision win” over Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit in the heavyweight gold medal match.
While many who watched the Conlan-Nikitin bout were shocked that Nikitin was declared the winner, AIBA spokesman Nicolas Jomard told the New York Times that the judges’ decision was sound and chalked Conlan’s reaction up to frustration.
Canada’s Arthur Biyarslanov, who criticized the judging at the Olympics on social media after being eliminated in a light welterweight preliminary bout on Sunday, empathized with Conlan on Tuesday.
My heart goes out to all the boxers that deserved to win but did not get the decision. I feel you, been some crazy decisions...— Arthur Biyarslanov (@ArthurNoxchi) August 16, 2016