Michael Conlan: I don’t fear another world title judging controversy

With the eyes of the boxing world firmly fixed on the standard of judging in the UK, Michael Conlan does not anticipate he will be the victim of a controversial decision when he challenges Leigh Wood for the WBA featherweight title in Nottingham on Saturday. next.

Last weekend there was an uproar when Josh Taylor retained the undisputed light welterweight crown despite the overwhelming consensus outside officials that Jack Catterall had dominated.

A British Boxing Board of Control investigation into the scorecards is ongoing, but similar incidents in the past have led to no significant change and the Glasgow controversy is simply the latest in a long line.

On a media call yesterday, Conlan revealed there will be a mix of UK and international judges next weekend with an English referee the third man in the ring, but given that the spotlight has been on a sport that finds itself in the dock, he believes Catterall’s misfortune will ensure there will be no cries of foul play if his clash with Wood goes to the cards.

“Selfishly, it probably happened quite a while before my fight,” he said. “It’s probably going to be a bit difficult for this to happen now that it’s happened. I felt devastated for Jack Catterall, but in a selfish way it was better for it to happen then than for me.

Conlan insists the judge’s latest outrage won’t change his approach.

“I’m not worried about knocking anybody out or anything like that,” he continued. “If it comes, it comes. It could very well happen, but right now I’m just focused on being the best I can be and if I do that, no judge in the world could take that away from me, so I’m excited.

Conlan is no stranger to judging controversy, having seen his dreams of a second Olympic medal snatched from him in Rio.

There was widespread outrage from fighters, the press and fans who watched in disbelief as Conlan tried to figure out how Vladimir Nikitin was the man celebrating after their quarter-final. The result was that boxing at the Games was taken over by the IOC for Tokyo, with amateur boxing governing body AIBA (now the IBA) being sidelined.

The fallout from Rio continues with boxing not included in the original schedule for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles and Conlan believes there are similarities between the fall of amateur boxing and the direction the professional game is taking. .

“If you look at the last years of judgment on these shores, you could say that. Why would a fighter want to come to the UK? Any foreign combatant who does so opposes it.

“It has become very difficult to get a decision and that’s a shame. Hopefully, with the eyes of the world watching everything that’s happened, I don’t have to flip the bird again and go crazy. I don’t think that will be the case.

With the eyes of the boxing world firmly fixed on the standard of judging in the UK, Michael Conlan does not anticipate he will be the victim of a controversial decision when he challenges Leigh Wood for the WBA featherweight title in Nottingham on Saturday. next.

Last weekend there was an uproar when Josh Taylor retained the undisputed light welterweight crown despite the overwhelming consensus outside officials that Jack Catterall had dominated.

A British Boxing Board of Control investigation into the scorecards is ongoing, but similar incidents in the past have led to no significant change and the Glasgow controversy is simply the latest in a long line.

On a media call yesterday, Conlan revealed there will be a mix of UK and international judges next weekend with an English referee the third man in the ring, but given that the spotlight has been on a sport that finds itself in the dock, he believes Catterall’s misfortune will ensure there will be no cries of foul play if his clash with Wood goes to the cards.

“Selfishly, it probably happened quite a while before my fight,” he said. “It’s probably going to be a bit difficult for this to happen now that it’s happened. I felt devastated for Jack Catterall, but in a selfish way it was better for it to happen then than for me.

Conlan insists the judge’s latest outrage won’t alter his approach on fight night.

“I’m not worried about knocking anybody out or anything like that,” he continued. “If it comes, it comes. It could very well happen, but right now I’m just focused on being the best I can be and if I do that, no judge in the world could take that away from me, so I’m excited.

Conlan is no stranger to judging controversy, having seen his dreams of a second Olympic medal snatched from him in Rio.

There was widespread outrage from fighters, the press and fans who watched in disbelief as Conlan tried to figure out how Vladimir Nikitin was the man celebrating after their quarter-final. The result of this was that boxing at the Games was taken over by the IOC for Tokyo, with amateur boxing governing body AIBA (now known as the IBA) being sidelined.

The fallout from Rio continues with boxing not included in the original schedule for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles and Conlan believes there are similarities between the fall of amateur boxing and the direction the professional game is taking. .

“If you look at the last years of judgment on these shores, you could say that. Why would a fighter want to come to the UK? Any foreign combatant who does so opposes it.

“It has become very difficult to get a decision and that’s a shame. Hopefully, with the eyes of the world watching everything that’s happened, I don’t have to flip the bird again and go crazy. I don’t think that will be the case.