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Katie Taylor’s 2016 Olympics defeat listed as ‘suspicious’ in McLaren report

Bray boxer’s final bout as an amateur is one of a number listed for review

Katie Taylor’s final fight as an amateur boxer in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio has been listed as “suspicious” in the 149 page report into amateur boxing by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren.

The defending lightweight Olympic champion lost her fight on a split decision to Finland's Mira Potkonen, an opponent who had never before beaten Taylor.

Taylor actually won the bout across the five judges’ score cards. But because of the marking system, where a computer randomly removes two of the judges’ scores so that just three scores count, Taylor lost the fight. The two judges removed by the computer had both scored the Irish boxer as the winner.

Taylor’s final bout before turning professional is one of a number from the Rio 2016 boxing event listed as “suspicious” in the damning report, which was made public last week revealing institutional corruption within boxing and stunning levels of manipulation of bouts including the 2016 Olympics and the pre-Olympic qualifying tournaments.


McLaren obtained access to the electronic records which show the scores allocated to each bout by all five judges rather than the three scores randomly selected to identify the winner of each contest.

Upon the completion of the bout, each of the five judges would upload their score to the system. The automated computer software would subsequently select at random three out of the five scores. The three randomly selected scores would determine the winner of the bout.

According to the initial analysis of the bout sheets in which the scores for all five judges are listed, there were 65 split decisions. A split result occurs when all five judges are not unanimous. Of these 65 results, 11 bouts would have had a different winner had all five judges’ scores been taken into consideration.

Taylor's defeat to Potkonen is one of the 11 bouts, as is Paddy Barnes' 2-1 defeat to Spain's Samuel Carmona Heredia and Joe Ward's light heavyweight 2-1 defeat to Ecuador's Andre Carlos Mina.

The details of Taylor’s fight are listed in the report. She scored 39-37, 39-37, 39-37, 38-38, 37-39. Across the five judges Taylor was considered to have won on three cards, the fight drawn on one card and lost on another.


But Potkonen was awarded the fight on a split decision because the first two judges, who had both awarded Taylor the win, were removed by the computer leaving it 39-37, 38-38, 37-39. Potkonen was then awarded the win on a countback when the judge from Ecuador, who scored it a draw, split the tie in favour of the Finn.

At the time in Rio, Taylor’s camp launched a stinging attack on the judging.

"We'd give the second round close but it was clear," said a furious Eddie Bolger minutes after the defeat.

“Right hand, left hooks, right hand, left hooks, right hand, left hooks. This guy (AIBA official) is standing on my shoulder now to make sure I don’t say anything bad but it’s up to you guys (in the media).

“This happens a lot. It’s happened more often. The French are flavour of the month now and if you go through the hierarchy, you’ll know why that is. That fight wasn’t even close. You can add it up and it wasn’t close. It was a shocking decision.”

French boxer Estelle Mossely went on to win the gold medal in Taylor's lightweight division.

Taylor's bout along with that of Michael Conlan's defeat to Russian Vladimir Nikitin have been listed in the report under the heading "List of suspect bouts listed for review".