Mari’s not Paddy’s rock, she’s his lucky charm!
By Paddy Appleton
They say that behind every great sportsman there is a great woman, but for Paddy Barnes it’s a little bit more than that.
He has never, yes NEVER, lost a fight with his fiancée and wife-to-be Mari Burns at his side in the arena.
Burns accompanied Barnes to the far reaches of Beijing in 2008 and Paddy feels it is no coincidence that the semi-final loss suffered in China was not viewed live by Mari, who was at her sister’s wedding.
Olympic Bronze medallist Barnes told BBC Sport: “She was there in Beijing with me, and she had to leave when I was in the semi-final.
“She had to leave for her sister’s wedding and what happened? I lost. Not only did I lose; I didn’t even score a point!
“I’ve never ever lost a fight Mari’s been at, so just let that be a lesson to the people who are giving out tickets; get her a ticket quick!” quipped Barnes.
When quizzed on whether a ticket for Mari meant instant gold for the Holy Family man, he replied: “I can’t guarantee it but I’ll be trying my best.”
It became clear yesterday that Barnes will have to be at his very best from the first match-up having fallen completely off the AIBA rankings table this week.
That ranking, if accurate, means Barnes won’t be seeded at this Olympics and he could face any number of medal-worthy opponents from the opening bell.
By the looks of things he’ll want all the tickets he can get for his lucky charm and bride-to-be this summer as he looks to go two better than Beijing and bring home gold.