Michael Conlan makes history with gold at World Amateur Championships
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Michael Conlan makes history with gold at World Amateur Championships

BELFAST boxer Michael Conlan has become the first Irish male to win gold at the World Amateur Championships following victory over Murodjon Akhmadaliev on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old won a unanimous points decision over his Uzbekistan opponent, but there was drama in the third and final round as Conlan suffered a knock-down late on.

However, Conlan had already done enough after winning the opening two rounds before nicking the third too, earning a 3-0 decision overall in the 56kg bamtamweight bout.

With scores of 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, Ireland team captain Conlan is the first representative of Ireland to land the title in the 41-year history of the prestigious amateur tournament.

"I am a bit embarrassed at getting knocked down in the last round," said Conlan, who has already qualified for next summer’s Olympics in Rio.

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"It is the first time I have been on the canvas in my life. He hit me sweet on the chin and it was the best punch I have ever been hit with. But I recovered really quickly and I am really happy."

Meanwhile, Irish light-heavyweight Joe Ward is through to the final of his division and will take on Cuba’s Julio La Cruz on Thursday evening.