London bound Barnes unhappy with Turkish defeat
By Jonny Stapleton
A CONTROVERSIAL Turk inflicted defeat in Trabzon over the weekend slightly dampened the mood of a previously elated and Olympic bound Paddy Barnes.
The Beijing silver medallist became the second Irish fighter to suffer a reverse to a home town fighter in suspicious circumstances, but fortunately for the Belfast flyweight, unlike Joe Ward, he had already secured his London 2012 berth before his Turkish battle.
The Holy Family Olympic medal hopeful was on the wrong end of a 21-14 defeat in Friday’s semi final However Barnes claims Ferhat Pehlivan got the win with a little help from his friends and was upset at how his tournament ended.
“The whole crowd I know I won that fight, what can you do?” Barnes said before being asked about a shot so crisp in the second round it prompted some show boating. “I caught him with that many I can’t remember which one you’re talking about! I held him up so I could batter him even more,” he added before reflecting on the most important outcome of the week in Turkey.
“I came here to qualify, I had two meagre performances the first two fights but up to here and over the last fight I’m over the moon with my performance.” Ireland’s Head Coach
Billy Walsh was as equally disappointed when he reflected on scoring that seemed to favour the Turks. The former Olympian was delighted to have five boxers en route to London 2012, but favourable judging, which looks set to deprive massive teenage talent Joe Ward his place on the worlds biggest stage, has left a sour taste in his mouth.
“Everybody, every country can see what’s happening out here. England suffered a bit today as well and their guy did not qualify,” said Irish coach Walsh on Friday. “But we were in the happy position that we had qualified before we went into this fight. “We always knew it was going to be difficult. We set out a target coming here and we have exceeded it already. We will get our opportunity in London to turn it around. At this stage, even though you are happy to have qualified, you still want to go to the final. Paddy wants to win gold medals.
“I said six months ago that anyone who meets a Turk in Turkey was going to find it difficult. We had one early on they took Joe out of the equation and that guy is now in the final. Every time a Turk looks like throwing a punch out there they are all screaming and they press the buttons. We can only control our own performances. Paddy controlled that and we are very happy with the performance. His engine was fantastic, some things we have to address as regards feinting and being in the right distance when he is punching. Outside of that there has been a massive improvement.”