by Jonny Stapleton
PADDY Barnes has called on the High Performance unit to give him the preparation he needs to secure Gold in London later this year.
The Belfast fighter, who claimed his sixth successive Irish flyweight title in the National Stadium last Friday night, has only had three fights over the last three years and wants the High Performance Unit to take action and secure him ring action.
The Beijing Bronze medallist feels the little guys are at times over looked for the heavier weights and feels he needs at least three tournaments to ensure he hits peak form for the qualifiers and the Olympics.
The Holy Family Golden Gloves pug may be small but he believes he is capable of a big medal winning performance if aided properly.
“Friday’s fight was only my third fight in three years. I think if I had more fights I would have been sharper. It would have been good to get rid of some ring rust. Hopefully the High Performance arrange some fights for me before the qualifiers in Turkey. They seem to focus on the heavier boys and never take on board the light flys and the lighter fighters on the team. I am bit annoyed with that but hopefully they will get me some fights between now and April. They should help me. There are only three European champions in Ireland and I am one of them. I hope to get three tournaments between now and the qualifiers. I didn’t think I was great tonight, but I think everyone in Ireland knows I am good enough not just to qualify but to win gold, ” Barnes said after his victory over Ryston’s Huge Myers.
Barnes may have established himself as Lord of the Irish fly’s, but he didn’t have it all his own way on Friday. Myers held him to a 8-8 draw after the first round and Barnes has to work for his victory.
The Olympic hopeful didn’t want to take credit away from his challenger, but did admit to feeling drained after the first three minutes.
“I thought it was going to be an easy fight, but it certainly didn’t feel like that. I trained really hard and had great sparring but after the first round I was near dead. I was really tired but I just dug deep. I was throwing shots and most were accurate, but I didn’t have much power in the them. He was hitting me to the body and I didn’t think he was scoring with them, but he must have been.”