MG Sports Management Press Release
London 2012 Olympic Games medal hope Paddy Barnes is ready to “turn it up to 11” and surpass heavyweight Kenny Egan’s remarkable 10 Irish title record wins.
Belfast man Barnes became the first boxer from Northern Ireland to win six Irish senior titles on the bounce following his Elite final victory over Hugh Myres in Dublin on Friday, February 3.
While his immediate focus now is on April’s Olympic Games qualifying tournament in Turkey, Barnes will target Egan’s haul in the long term.
He said: “I joke with Kenny Egan all the time about taking his record away and I will do it. I won’t try to match it; I will go out to win 11 titles just to annoy him.”
Barnes, 24, was full of praise for Kildare man Myres, who tagged him in a blistering 8-8 drawn first round in Dublin before the champion pulled away with impressive second and third round responses.
It was, for Barnes, only his third fight in two years – having missed out on the European championships last year due to a hand injury.
He added: “It was a super fight and Hugh put it up to me. I was probably a bit rusty but I have enjoyed really tough sparring sessions since getting over my injury and I knew I was sharp enough to get through it when I had to dig deep.”
Reflecting on his moment of history in the ring, he said: “It’s something special to be part of an elite group of boxers who have won six titles in a row.”The 2010 European and Commonwealth Games gold medal winner returns to training tomorrow (Tuesday) at his Holy Family Gym in Belfast before signing in again at the high performance centre in Dublin.
He now requires more ring activity before April’s crunch qualifiers.
“I need more fights, that’s for sure,” he added.
“I am hoping there will be an intensive programme for me that will include several fights before April. I am confident that I will qualify in Turkey, but my cause wi