Paddy Barnes feels that he is light-years ahead of his competition at amateur level.
While Moroccan welterweight Mohammed Rabii won the WSB best boxer award last year (despite Barnes’s antics which tricked some unsuspecting outlets), the Belfast man was similarly outstanding in his light flyweight class.
The 28 year old cantered to 7-0 and came top of the standings, and the self-styled ‘WSB World Champ’ believes that he could rule the amateur game until 2024.
Speaking to irish-boxing.com, two-time Olympic bronze medalist Barnes admitted that “I really want to go professional after the Olympic Games, I’m swaying that way.”
Indeed close friend, and IBF super bantamweight World champ, Carl Frampton strongly believes that the decorated amateur would quickly rise to the top in the professional ranks.
However, the Holy Family BC star, who is a 5/4 favourite for gold this Summer, argues that “If I wanted to stay amateur I’d clean up for another ten years, that’s a fact.”
Barnes, who is due to become Ireland’s first three-time Olympic boxing representative, is confident that, were he to stay in the vested game, he could go two more, hypothesising: “fourth Olympics, fifth Olympics, I think I could squeeze five in, but whether I want to do that I don’t know.”
Nevertheless, wherever Paddy goes, be it amateur, pro, punditry, or politics, he is sure to do the one thing that he knows best – win.