The number one ranked Light flyweight is 4-0 in Season V, and has showcased all aspects of his boxing ability during this campaign.
A two-time Olympic bronze medalist, Barnes is desperate to finally clinch gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and his excellent WSB performances make him a favourite to qualify as the top ranked in his weight class.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of his season has been that three of his victories have come away from home in Azerbaijan, Poland and Kazakhstan, while he also defeated Puerto Rico’s Anthony Chacon Rivera in Italy.
After 20 rounds of excellent action so far in this campaign, Barnes spoke to WSB regarding his season so far.
You are at the top of the Light Flyweight (49kg) rankings with 4 victories and 0 losses. Do you think that you will qualify for Rio directly through WSB?
Yes, that is my plan. Securing qualification early will give me time to focus on weaknesses that I have in the run up to the Olympic Games.
With two Olympic medals in your pocket, what are your aims for Rio 2016?
I’m tired of the kids on the street calling me ‘Paddy Bronze’, so it’s time to get that Gold!
A slow start to the season began with two consecutive Italian defeats against Azerbaijan and USA. However, in recent matches the Italian Franchise have been performing much better. Why do you think that is?
I think that much was expected from certain boxers, and they were maybe a bit eager to try and perform to their best. That being said, I felt that there was a few matches we should have won.
What goals do you have for the team this Season?
The same goal as I’m sure every team has, to be crowned champions!
Britain has a team in WSB Season V with the British Lionhearts, while you compete with Italia Thunder this year. Would you like to meet them in the Playoffs?
It would be great to meet them in the playoffs as it would mean less travelling to compete!
How do you think that the legendary York Hall in London would receive you as an away boxer?
York Hall is famous for boxing and the fans there are always very vocal, so I would love to get the chance to fight there.
How do you define your boxing style?
An educated all action style!
Last year you won your second gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. How was that experience?
It’s a really good competition. What I like about it is that it is like a mini Olympics with all the other sports competing as well.
You have 2 Olympic medals, 2 golds in the Commonwealth Games, a gold medal in the European Championship, 6 Irish National Championships… Where do you find the motivation to continue winning?
I have 7 national titles but I’m not counting haha! I just want to be the best that I can be and leave a legacy behind me.
- Boxing is the hardest but most rewarding sport there is.
- My hero is AP McCoy (Irish Jockey)
- My opponents for me are annoying, I wish sometimes they would go easy on me.
- World Series of Boxing is a fantastic initiative which help fighters better their careers.
- My favourite food is at the minute Nandos.
- My favourite drink is vanilla coke.
- How I see my future qualifying for Rio through WSB and winning the Gold medal.
- A Knockout in my mind is landing my right hand in some poor guy’s head.
- Italia Thunder are a great team, very welcoming and friendly from the staff to all the boxers that I have met.
- My dream is to win Olympic and world gold and to receive the Val Barker Trophy.
|Date of birth||09/04/1987|
|Place of birth||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Club||Holy Family ABC|
|Residence||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Best Results||London 2012 Olympic Games – Bronze
Beijing 2008 Olympic Games – Bronze
European Boxing Championships 2010 – Gold
European Boxing Championships 2013 – Silver
Commonwealth Games 2014 – Gold
Commonwealth Games 2010 – Gold
7x Irish National Champion