Paddy Barnes announces his intention to turn professional
Double Olympic medallist Paddy Barnes has announced his intention to turn pro when the right offer comes along.
The two-time Olympic bronze medallist from Beijing and London has decided not to pursue a path to Rio in 2014 to embark on a professional career.
Barnes has insisted that he will only join the professional ranks if an offer that he feels is adequate is presented to him.
The 26-year-old Belfast boxer was beaten in his World Championship quarter-final in controversial circumstances last October in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Barnes told RTE Radio One: "When I'm watching my friend fight, Carl Frampton, he's fighting in front of 9,000 people when Paddy Barnes is fihgting he's fighting in front of 100 people. That's my main concern.
"I want to fight in front of big crowds where people appreciate you more.
"I want to showcase my skills infront of a wider audience and professional boxing would probably be best for that.
"If a promoter came to me with a contract then I'd be gone."
After his interview was played on RTE Radio One, Barnes tweeted: "People are getting confused, I'm not turning pro, never once said I was, I said I'd love to if I got a good offer!."
News of Paddy Barnes wish to turn pro is another blow to Irish amateur boxing following the decision of Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin to turn pro in October.
Nevin has moved to Philadelphia having signed with Berkeley Sports & Media and GreenBlood Boxing and will be managed by Tom Moran.
World Championship silver medallsit from Almaty in October and European gold medallist Jason Quigley this week also revealed that he was strongly considering becoming a professional boxer.