HE might be the the number one treat to Paddy Barnes status as Lord of the Irish flys, but that doesn’t stop the Irish boxing legend from being Brendan Irvine’s number 1 fan.
The two time Olympic bronze medalist watched with admiration as the teen impressed his way to a silver medal in the recent European Games and had nothing but praise for a fighter who could become a big domestic rival.
Indeed Barnes, who often talks of the Team Ethos and the good of the game across the country, is looking forward to fighting Irvine the Senior Championships.
Barnes is hoping Irvine comes into the November Nationals with World Championship gold in his pocket so two World number 1’s fight it out for the right to be Champion of Ireland.
“100 percent I am going into the Seniors and the only reason I didn’t enter last time was because of the WSB. Of course (Barnes v Irvine would be a fight to look forward too). I Think it would be brilliant if he won a World title because I am number 1 in the World in the WSB and he would be Number 1 in the World in AOB and it would be the first time Ireland would have two World champions at the same weight,” Barnes told Irish-boxing.com.
If the ‘Wee Rooster’ was to come into the Seniors with a gold medal or even an Olympic place secured some might suggest any clash with Barnes could be a Rio box off.
In truth considering Barnes talent, Olympic experience and fighting CV he is sure to get the nod, but there will be some who would raise the question.
Barnes, however seems unfazed, not only would he welcome the challenge, but he is like all Irish boxing fans happy to see a young talent emerge and had nothing but positive things to say about his fellow Belfast flyweights success.
“Young Brendan Irvine what can you say he has just been unbelievable. To put in such good performances at such a young age is great and its great to see him doing so well. He might be at my weight, but I don’t care I was still supporting him,” he added before discussing the Olympic situation.
“It is weird I don’t know what is going to happen. There is talk of him moving up and he is quite young and could move up. If he qualifies via the Worlds I don’t know whats going to happen. He can go the Worlds still and if he doesn’t qualify he can gain experience and possibly build himself into a proper flyweight. He would give a lot of good flyweights a run for their money.
There is no question about it. I support him, he is part of the team. He might be only new to the team but I still support him and he is a nice kid.