32 year old Belfast fighter, Paddy Barnes announced last night his retirement from boxing after 21 years.
A young Barnes took up boxing at the tender age of eleven and by the time he was twenty five he had won two Olympic medals for Ireland, and became the first Irish boxer to win consecutive Olympic medals. He also won gold medals while competing for Northern Ireland at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games.
After his amateur success, Barnes turned professional and made his debut as a bantam weight against Stefan Slavchev on 5 November 2016 which he won due to his opponents disqualification. He went onto win his four fights in 2017 but suffered his first two professional defeats in 2018 against Cristofer Rosales and Oscar Mojica. He regained his composure to beat Joel Sanchaz back in August but after being outclassed by Jay Harris in a flyweight bout at the Ulster Hall on 11 October he announced his was considering his future in boxing.
Brave Barnes announced on Instagram last night “After taking some time I’ve come to a decision to retire. I’ve had a great career and achieved so much. I have loved every minute of boxing, it has been my life for the past 21 years.
“I 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,” added Barnes.
“It didn’t work out but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
It is a sad day for Irish boxing and we thank Paddy Barnes for all entertainment he provided, the accolades he won for Ireland and we wish him the very best in the next chapter of his life.
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