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Paddy Barnes: Next fight I would have got hammered again, I've no energy

One of Ireland’s leading medal hopes suffered a shock defeat this afternoon.

A dejected Barnes is led away from the ring.
A dejected Barnes is led away from the ring.
Image: Dan Sheridan

A WEARY-LOOKING Paddy Barnes admitted he lacked energy during his shock split decision defeat to Spain’s Samuel Carmona Heredia in Rio this afternoon.

The Belfast boxer’s Olympic campaign is over before it ever got started as one of Ireland’s leading medal hopes crashed out of the light-flyweight division.

Barnes looked drained and tired during the bout at the Riocentro exhibition centre as his 20-year-old opponent took the fight on two judges’ cards with the third scoring it a draw.

Speaking to RTÉ afterwards, Barnes revealed he struggled to make the 49kg weight, leading to him being dehydrated and fatigued.

“I shouldn’t be fighting this weight, it’s so hard getting down to it,” the 2008 and 2012 bronze medallist In the second round I had nothing left. I had absolutely nothing left to give.

“I was dead in the first round, I was gone. I had no energy whatsoever. I don’t know where I got the energy to throw the punches I did.

“It’s always hard for me to make it, but this time I’m training differently and 58kg I have to come down to 49kg so there’s questions and I’m doubting whether I’ll make the weight.”

The 29-year-old was regarded as one of the favourites to win gold, making his Round of 16 defeat all the more surprising.

Paddy Barnes and Zaur Antia Barnes leaves the arena with Zaur Antia. Source: Dan Sheridan

“To be honest, I thought I was going for gold and I genuinely believed I would come away with a gold medal,” he added.

“Even if I had won the fight there, next fight I would have got hammered again, I’ve no energy. Just as well I got beaten because I would be embarrassed next fight.

“This morning will be the last time I’m at 49kg anyway, ever.”

And is he retiring? “No, I’ll just never fight 49kg again. It’s just too hard. Too draining.”

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