Michael Conlan says he will use the disappointment of Rio as a catalyst to become “Ireland’s greatest ever fighter” as he confirmed he is to turn to the professional ranks.
The bantamweight world champion was beaten in controversial circumstances at the last-16 stage in Brazil by Russia’s Vladamir Nikitin, a defeat which prompted the Belfast man to label the world governing body, AIBA, “cheats”.
Asked on the Late Late Show if he was turning pro, Conlan confirmed the widely expected move: “100%," he said.
“Yeah, I’m in talks at the minute with a few people. I’ve got a lot of offers and that’s all I can say for the minute.”
The 24-year-old’s dream of Olympic gold is now over and he admitted to mixed emotions about leaving the amateur game.
“It’s a bit of both [relief and sadness] but the fact that it has happened could be a blessing, that it happened the way it did,” he said.
“It will be a driving force for me in my career.
“It will be the catalyst for me being a multi-weight world champion and probably Ireland’s greatest ever fighter.”
Conlan, a bronze-medallist from London 2012, also insisted that he had no regrets about his outburst after the defeat to Nikitin.
"I did go a bit far but if I hadn't gone that far I'd probably be sitting here with complete regret," he said.
"That just made me feel a lot of relief after that I spoke my mind. I stick by everything I said."