07 October 2009 – By Cormac Campbell
Olympic bronze Paddy Barnes has told irish-boxing.com that he is committed to amateur boxing.
There had been speculation that the Holy Family starlet would switch codes after being sent home from the World Championships in Milan earlier this year for a post-fight protest. Barnes had courted controversy after kicking his glove following a points defeat to Peter Munkai.
However, speaking to irish-boxing.com at the first of three Irish Bunce Live events, Barnes said his future remains in the amateur ranks.
“I think things were blown up a little and exaggerated over it,” he said. “Ive no thoughts at all of going professional. Not for the foreseeable future anyway.”
One boxer who Barnes feels made the correct decision in ditching the vest and headguard for the paid ranks is friend and gymmate Carl Frampton.
“I think the professional game will suit him 100 times better than the amateurs,” he enthused.
“Carl hasnt and wont change style too much because he always had a professional style, he is flatter on his feet, has a good guard and hits hard with either hand.”
Barnes will be looking to rejoin the High Performance Unit in the coming weeks ahead of a new season, but believes John Joe Nevins bronze medal at the World Championships will prove the perfect motivation for the Irish team to pick up further honours.
“Squad training hasnt started yet but John Joe Nevin phoned me when he got home. He is delighted with his medal and so he should be,” he enthused.
“Now I just want to focus on getting a medal at next years European Championships.”
One topic that is likely to be discussed at length when squad training resumes is the tragic passing of Darren Sutherland, a former team mate of Barnes.
“The news of his death was terrible. Im still getting over it. Everyone is so sad about it.”