The fractured nature of boxing, due to the multiple sanctioning bodies, belt holders and rankings has often been the source of questionable outcomes of fights in recent memory. Sadly, it would appear this disjointed landscape of the sport has now spilt over into the Olympic games, with two suspicious results being raise as part of an investigation into the 2016 games.
Two major matches which highlighted this are the Michael Conlan and Joe Joyce bouts during the Rio 2016 Olympics in which both were defeated in controversial circumstances. The fractured nature of boxing, due to the multiple different sanctioning bodies, belt holders and rankings has often been the source of questionable outcomes of fights in recent memory. Joe Joyce lost out to Frenchman Tony Yoka in a split decision, while Conlan lost out to Russian Vladimir Nikitin.
A sour experience on the Olympic stage
A recent investigation reported that the qualifiers for the 2016 were the practice grounds in which manipulation methods were fine-tuned ready for the competition itself in Rio 2016. The International Boxing Association AIBA said it noted the investigation reports with ‘’concern’’.
The news that broke this week was the first report from the independent investigation, further reports are scheduled from November 2021 and one in early 2022. The independent investigation has found that there was a system in place to manipulate the outcome of boxing matches during the Rio 2016 Olympics.
In the recent 2020 Tokyo summer games no referees who played a part in Rio 2016 were selected, they were all suspended by the AIBA amid the ongoing investigation. The Tokyo games were organised by the IOC, rather than the AIBA.
The worry is the International Olympic Committee now has a reason to exclude boxing going forward from the Olympics, the publication seen this week highlighted allegations of refereeing corruption during Rio 2016 and that is a damning indictment of how the governing bodies run the sport.
As this article shows the world of boxing can be a great chance for bettors to back their favourite fighters looking to make history, but the governing bodies need to hold more accountability over the questionable scorecards produced by the ringside judges.
Justice will be served
The investigation found two bouts that ‘’caused the system to publicly collapse’’ – including the Bantamweight quarter final between Michael Conlan and Vladimir Nikitin representing Russian. Nikitin got the verdict in the quarter final in a controversial fight, he then later withdrew from the semi-final due to an injury but still took the bronze medal home. At the time of the Rio Olympics Conlan was the reigning World and European champion, his defeat was a huge shock to the boxing world, he appeared to win comfortably, and this led to huge public outcry amongst boxing fans online.
Conlan was denied the opportunity of winning his second Olympic medal when he didn’t get the verdict versus Vladimir Nikitin, this however has not impacted on his professional career. Since the Rio 2016 Olympics Conlan has an impressive 16-0 professional record including eight wins by KO. Last time out in front of a packed Belfast crowd Conlan beat TJ Doheny to land the WBA interim Featherweight World title, this victory sets up some huge potential matchups over the coming months.
Next in line for Michael Conlan could be WBA featherweight belt holder Leigh Wodd who beat the exciting Chinese superstar Xu Can recently in a shock victory at Matchroom HQ Brentwood. The Nottingham based fighter was a huge underdog going into the fight but after that impressive victory he has been propelled onto the world scene and now could be in line to fight Conlan in a massive UK dustup.