AmateurHeadline News

Barnes: I would compete in Olympic Box Off with Irvine if he becomes World champ

If Brendan Irvine wins World Championship Gold in Doha later this year Paddy Barnes would fight him for the right to go to RIO 2016.

Two time Olympic medal winner Barnes has already qualified for RIO thanks to his sensational WSB form, but Irvine could also become RIO eligible if he reaches the World Championship finals.

If Irvine, who impressed in this years Seniors and made more people sit up and take note with a medal winning innings in the European Games, does do something only Jason Quigley has achieved for Ireland and reach a World decider Barnes feels as a World Champion (via WSB) he should be in Olympic pole.

However, the popular Belfast puncher claims if teen Irvine wins gold and call himself a World champion it would be only fair to give the ‘Wee Rooster’ a box off.

“It’s a weird one because I would cheer any Irish boxer on, no matter what,” said Barnes to the Irish News. “Brendan Irvine has the ability to go far, he proved that at the European Games, but the Worlds is so, so tough.

“If he wins gold at the World Championships, I would have no problem with a box-off. It would be only fair.

“It would be great for Irish sport to have two world champions at the same weight.”

With light-heavyweight Joe Ward adding another gold as Ireland finished up second in the medal table behind Russia, Billy Walsh’s men look in rude health ahead of the World Championships in Qatar in October.

As Irvine will represent Ireland in the Worlds at light flyweight the Holy Family ace won’t be Doha bound and he admits it hurts him to miss out.

“Watching the European Championships there, I did feel a bit jealous,” admitted the 28-year-old.

“Seeing the lads doing so well… it’s usually me going there, I’m on the team all the time and it felt strange. I didn’t really like it.

“I’ve been to the last four World Championships and it’s the only tournament I don’t have a medal from, so I’d have loved to have gone there and got a medal.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years