Shock in Rio – Paddy Barnes OUT of the Olympics

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Paddy Barnes got his quest for an unprecedented third Olympic medal underway today but fell at the first hurdle against Spain’s Samuel Carmona Heredia in Rio.

The Belfast light flyweight and Irish team captain was burned by ‘El Infernio’ at Pavilion 6 of the Riocentro and lost a heart-breaking split decision.

Having not fought in a major international tournament since the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Barnes was perhaps rusty and lost the opening round on the cards of two judges against the aggressive Iberian.

Barnes dragged the 20 year old into a war in second round, landing more but still having his defence penetrated. The Belfast fighter would take the stanza on two of the three cards

All square on all three cards, it was a crucial final round for Barnes, and showed true grit and no little skill to dig deep. Obviously exhausted, Barnes perhaps landed more than the Spaniard but seemed to feel the physical toll of the Spaniard’s shots more.

With the result in doubt, Carmona was named winner on a split decision (28-29 x2, 29-28).

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: