Ireland’s major bookmaker, Paddy Power, has shown its patriotism by announcing a decision to pay out on Irish boxer Michael Conlan as winner in the quarterfinals of the Rio Olympics despite him controversially losing the match. In addition, Paddy Paddy will pay out all bets on Conlan winning a medal in the 2016 olympics and on him winning gold.
Boxing experts, and Conlan himself, were shocked when the judges unanimously declared Conlan’s opponent, Russian Vladimir Nikitin, as the winner despite many feeling that the Irish boxer had led throughout the match. In a fit of frustration during a post-fight interview in which he did not hold back his anger at the decision, the Irish bantamweight referred to the verdict as a “shambles” and called Aiba (the International Boxing Association, formerly known as Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur) “cheats.”
While it is not known if they were involved in the Conlan match or not, a number of officials were stood down by Aiba following the controversy. The President of Aiba Dr Ching-Kuo Wu; however, says that Conlan may face disciplinary action for his angry reaction towards the judges, saying it was inappropriate to humiliate officials and that many people are angry over his behaviour.
Paddy Power; however, is standing behind its man and all those punters who backed the Irish boxer.
“The whole thing stinks; absolutely stinks and our heart goes out to Michael Conlan after he was robbed of victory,” said a Paddy Power spokesperson.
“The entire country was behind Michael and as you might imagine we took plenty of bets from patriotic punters who were backing him to do the business, and it’s only fair that we pay out on him as the winner.”