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Double Olympic medalist Paddy Barnes hangs up his gloves

The Holy Family BC fighter secured bronze at the 2008 and 2012 Games.

Barnes on the podium with his bronze in 2012.
Barnes on the podium with his bronze in 2012.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

BELFAST BOXER PADDY Barnes, who claimed Olympic bronze medals  in 2008 and 2012, has announced his retirement from the sport.

The 32-year-old represented Ireland at a third Olympic Games in 2016, carrying out the flag in Rio before turning professional later that year.

As a pro, he forced a decision victory against Silviu Oiteanu to claim the vacant WBO European flyweight title at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. In 2018 he fought Cristofer Rosales at Windsor Park for the WBC flyweight title, but suffered a fourth-round defeat.

His last fight was a fourth-round loss to jay Harris in Belfast’s Union Hall last month.

“I have loved every minute of boxing, it has been my life for the past 21 years,” Barnes said in a statement on Twitter.

“I have achieved my dream of becoming an Olympian and getting to carry the Irish flag at the Olympic Games opening ceremony. Those moments were the proudest of my career.

Professional boxing was never a dream of mine but I tried and threw myself into the deep end straight away. It didn’t work out but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

“I’d like to thank my family for supporting me throughout my entire career, my wife Mari for keeping my feet firmly on the ground and helping me towards my goals.

“I want to thank my parents Jimmy Linden, Gerry Storey, Seamy McCann and everyone at the Holy Family boxing club.”

paddy-barnes-and-his-fiance-mari-after-he-received-his-bronze-medal Mari and Paddy celebrate in London. Source: ©William Cherry/Presseye

It is his exploits as an amateur that will remain Barnes’ lasting legacy. His runs to the semi-final stage of Olympic competition in both 2008 and 2012 were halted by China’s  Zou Shiming, who went on to claim gold on both occasions.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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