Irish Olympian Paddy Barnes turning pro following disappointing 2016 Rio Olympics.
29 year old Barnes struggled with making the weight at the Olympics just gone, but he can hold his head held high as he embarks on his professional boxing journey knowing he had a stellar amateur career.
As an amateur boxer representing Ireland in the flyweight division Barnes had an extensive international career that saw him capture multiple Commonwealth gold, European gold and multiple Olympic bronze medals.
Never a man short of a word or shy to give his honest opinion, his personality won over many fans in the amateur ranks and is sure to be a useful tool in the professional fight business – where selling tickets and drumming up attention are both part of the game.
Speaking to bookmakers Paddy Power on the move to finally turn pro Barnes had this to say:
“After watching what went on at Rio, where AIBA were officiating, amateur boxing is the same as it’s always been – it’s always been corrupt and it always will be corrupt.”
His comments come after a highly controversial 2016 Olympics that saw multiple cases where fans were unhappy with the outcomes of decisions from judges, perhaps most notably against one of Barnes’ Irish team mates Michael Conlan.
For those outside of Ireland not familiar with Paddy’s work, here is some old but still gold sparring footage of him and female boxing legend Katie Taylor:
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