Classy Conlan advances to quarter-finals

SportBy Sean McGoldrick
Michael Conlan celebrates after defeating Aram Avagyan of Armenia
Michael Conlan celebrates after defeating Aram Avagyan of Armenia

World champion Michael Conlan cruised into the quarter-final of the bantamweight division at the Olympic Games this afternoon with a unanimous 3-0 win over Aram Avagyan from Armenia.

The London Olympic silver medallist was literally the 'Last Man Standing' for Ireland in the men's competition in Rio after a disastrous week in Pavillion 6 of the Riocentro Centro.

But the 24-year-old coped admirably with the pressure as he dealt with an awkward opponent who had won a bronze medal at the European Championship in 2013.

Avagyan tried to turn the fight into a brawl and in a less than perfect performance Conlan, at times, allowed his opponent dictate the pattern of the contest. But for the most part Conlan kept his distance and he clearly outboxed his opponent.

At times his timing was off but Conlan remained in control of the contest throughout although curiously one of the judges gave the last round to his opponent.

Still, Conlan won comfortably 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 to reach Tuesday's quarter-final in which there will be a bronze medal at stake.

It was only Ireland's fourth win in the boxing arena in Rio.