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Conlan delivers composed and clinical performance to safely advance to Olympic quarter-finals

MICHAEL CONLAN’S OLYMPIC campaign got off to the perfect start in Rio this afternoon, with the Belfast boxer safely negotiating the first hurdle in his quest for gold.

After receiving a bye to the last 16 of the bantamweight division, Conlan delivered a composed and clinical performance to earn a unanimous decision victory over Armenia’s Aram Avagyan.

The World and European champion, who is widely considered as Ireland’s leading gold medal hope, was comfortable from the first bell and was the clear winner on all three judges’ cards.

At the end of a difficult week for Irish boxing, Conlan quickly reminded the world of his credentials as he punished his opponent with a succession of precise and powerful shots during an impressive first round.

It set the platform for a convincing victory which sees him through to Tuesday’s quarter-finals, where he will face Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin at 3.30pm Irish time.

Should he emerge victorious in that bout, Conlan will be guaranteed at least a bronze — but he’s here for a lot more than that.

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