Former Republic of Ireland boss Brian Kerr has the height of admiration for Irish boxing and admitted that he was “deliriously happy” to see Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Kerr (5:13) was speaking on Game On on RTE 2 last night. Barnes and Conlan were interviewed on the show (40:03).
The Belfast duo qualified for Rio 2016 after winning in Venezuela for Italia Thunder in the World Series of Boxing last weekend.
Both men admitted that the qualification process through the WSB was extremely testing and that they had to push themselves beyond belief. The London 2012 bronze medallists said they have got the ball rolling and reckon their qualification will help motivate Ireland’s AOB and APB boxers secure more places at the 31st Olympiad.
Conlan will be aiming for the top of the podium in Rio, as will Barnes, who has qualified for three successive Olympics.
Conlan said: “I think I’m coming into my prime in my amateur career now. I’ll be 24 going to Rio. I’ll be a fully developed man. Last time I was only a boy going to London and I came away with a bronze.”