BOXING

Rio dream over but Paddy Barnes says he’ll battle on

Ireland's two-time Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes admitted he was 'wrecked' and on the verge of vomiting after he suffered a shock defeat to an underdog Spaniard at the Rio Games on Monday.

Rio dream over but Paddy Barnes says he’ll battle on
YURI CORTEZ AFP

Ireland's two-time Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes admitted he was "wrecked" and on the verge of vomiting after he suffered a shock defeat to an underdog Spaniard at the Rio Games on Monday.

The 29-year-old Barnes, a decorated light flyweight and serious medal contender, said he had few complaints after the 2015 Spanish champion Samuel Carmona Heredia edged him on a split points decision. “I thought it was a close fight, but there was no way I could have fought another fight at this weight”, said Barnes, a bronze medallist in Beijing 2008 and London four years ago at the same weight.

“My energy was zapped and I was absolutely wrecked half way through the first round. I threw a lot of punches in the first round but there was nothing in them”, he added, saying that he had battled to get down to the weight this time and was dehydrated as a result. I feel like I might be sick or something standing here, I feel that tired.

Belfast-born Barnes, who was Ireland's flag-bearer at Friday's opening ceremony told reporters that Rio would be his last Games, but he was not retiring. “Usually I feel I can hurt people and I threw a lot of punches in the third round but there was nothing in my punches. I thought that the third round won me the fight, but that's sport”.

The 20-year-old Spaniard, who made a fast start at the opening bell to immediately put Barnes on the defensive, said he had come in to the bout expecting to win. “Of course, I am young and I studied him a lot so I was prepared”, said the slick counter-puncher. I knew what was coming.'

Carl Frampton, the WBA featherweight world champion, also from Belfast, said he was absolutely gutted. “I know how much he wanted that and how much he's put in to these Olympics. Still a hero”, he tweeted. “It's clear to see that making 49kg hurt Paddy but he still won that fight in my eyes. He gave everything. Devastated”.