25 August 2008 – by Mark Doyle
Paddy Barnes is hoping that his Olympic campaign will be remembered for his exploits in the ring rather than what he said out of it.
The Belfast light-flyweight was absolutely devastated after failing to register a single point in his semi-final clash with Shiming Zou on Friday [0-15] and so disgusted was he with the judges that he said that he was not interested in collecting his bronze medal.
However, Barnes subsequently calmed down and did indeed make it to the podium on Sunday.
He is now praying, though, that he can put the controversy surrounding his post-fight comments behind him.
I had a bad few days but I sat down and thought about it after I lost and I realised I was never going to be a winner over here anyway because theres no way I was going to beat Shiming Zou, Barnes reasoned.
After the fight I said a few things, heat of the moment stuff. Some people back home probably do understand but the papers just jumped at the chance to ridicule me. But I just need to grow up.
But, at the end of the day, its still a bronze. As soon as I got out of the ring there were a load of microphones stuck in my face.
But, hopefully, people will remember me more as an Olympic bronze medallist than for what I said.
Barnes has been tipped to turn professional after catching the eye with his dynamic displays in China but he is already talking optimistically about his chances of gold in London in 1012.
Im going to stay at 48kg and hopefully Shiming Zou retires and gives me a chance, he joked.
Getting the bronze is the proudest moment of my life but hopefully there will be a prouder moment when Im a 25-year-old and get the gold.
But hes Olympic champion, Im not. Im as sick as a dog but can you do?