As one of Ireland’s greatest chances for a gold medal going into the Olympics, boxer Katie Taylor was devastated yesterday by a defeat in her first fight of the competition.

In a heartbreaking interview following the fight, former gold medal-winner Taylor was left speechless by the result, claiming she should easily beat the likes of her opponent, Mira Potkonen from Finland, where a win would have placed her in medal contention. The number one seed had never lost to her Finnish opponent in any previous pair-up.

To lose in the lightweight quarter-finals with no hope of even a bronze, however, was a heart-breaking blow for the 30-year-old boxer, who has faced a tough year of defeats with a noticeable absence of her father Peter in her corner. He stepped down as her coach earlier this year to be replaced by national coach Zaur Antia and Eddie Bolger. Some have claimed Taylor has not been the same without her father ringside while others are seeing fault with the Olympic scoring system which had already knocked out fellow Irish medal hopeful Paddy Barnes.

Her coach Antia was among those who cried foul at Taylor’s shock defeat, claiming she won the fight.

“She won the fight,” the Georgian insisted.

“First round, she won. The second round it was very close, could have went to both sides, it was not great, really. But the third, the fourth round... she won the fight.”

"It was a very close fight," said a subdued Taylor, having difficulty to find words after the split 2-1 decision against her.

"It's very hard to talk about. When you are in the middle of the fight it probably looks very different from the outside.

"It was a close fight and congratulations to her. But I should really be beating those girls."

This morning the last of Ireland’s gold medal boxing hopes was knocked out of his own competition in controversial circumstances with many feeling he also easily won the fight. Michael Conlan faced off against Russian Vladimir Nikitin in the bantamweight quarterfinals but the Belfast man let his anger be known when a unanimous decision branded him the loser, calling them “cheats” who have shattered his dreams.

Read more: Olympics create two unlikely Irish heroes as they snatch silver

Conlan won bronze in the flightweight division in London four years ago, but it wasn’t to be today for the 24-year old with all three judges awarding the fight to Nikitin. Many regarded the defeat of one of Ireland’s greatest amateur boxers as daylight robbery, including Conlan himself, stating it “stinks to the core.”

“I was here for Olympic Gold. My dream’s been shattered now,” he said

“These ones are known for being cheats and they’ll always be cheats. Amateur boxing stinks from the core right to the top.”

This is very accurate #MichaelConlon photo cred: @nialloloughlin https://t.co/Oxlr8RNtcR pic.twitter.com/DpPWUz5a34

— Irish IP Address (@irishvpn) August 16, 2016

'The f***ing cheats, absolute cheats. Amateur boxing stinks!' Irish boxer launches into furious rant at judges… https://t.co/OU8SdKqE2t

— Muhammad Genta (@MuhammadGenta_S) August 16, 2016

He even had some choice words for Mr. Putin!

Hey Vlad @PutinRF_Eng

How much did they charge you bro?? @AIBA_Boxing #Rio2016 ��

— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) August 16, 2016

Support has poured in for both Irish boxers as Irish fans seek to console the champions who have already brought so much pride to the country. For Taylor, in particular, who has won six European championships, five EU championships, five world championships, an Olympic gold medal and represented women in boxing in Ireland before it was generally accepted, support and kind messages have flooded in over the past 24 hours.

Ladies and Gentleman, Katie Taylor pic.twitter.com/wBEURlw8BB

— Paddy Barnes (@paddyb_ireland) August 15, 2016

A winner of all there is to win in women's boxing makes @KatieTaylor a magnificent sportswoman,right up there with the best in the World.����

— Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) August 15, 2016

A winner of all there is to win in women's boxing makes @KatieTaylor a magnificent sportswoman,right up there with the best in the World.����

— Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) August 15, 2016

A terrible result for @KatieTaylor today, but it won't detract from her standing as one of Ireland's greatest sporting heroes.

— Dara Ó Briain (@daraobriain) August 15, 2016

Thierry Henri overheard to say

"At least the Irish have a new thieving little bo*lix to hate now"#MichaelConlan

— Will Leahy (@willleahy) August 16, 2016

Does judging in #OlympicBoxing not need greater clarity? Athletes who dedicate their life for 4 years deserve it. Tough luck @mickconlan11

— Des Cahill (@sportsdes) August 16, 2016

Former Irish coach Billy Walsh, who now coaches the US team, also hit out at the judging scores during a different fight in the same weight class as Taylor on Monday when his lightweight Mikaela Mayer lost her quarter-final on points to Russian Anastasia Beliakova.

"To be honest, I've just had a look at the judging. It was crazy," Walsh told reporters. "Are they looking at the same bloody fight or what?

"Her performance was excellent, she gave everything she had ... I thought she did enough to win it."

In other Irish Olympic news, Annalise Murphy this morning won a silver medal for the women's laser radial (dinghy) bringing Ireland's total medal count up to two silvers in rowing and sailing.

Congratulations Annalise!

Read more: Annalise Murphy sails to Ireland’s second silver medal of Olympic Games

Katie Taylor crushed by her Olympic defeat yesterday.