Friday 9 December 2016

Conlan backs boxing 'legend' Barnes after his shock defeat

Published 09/08/2016 | 02:30

Paddy Barnes following his shock defeat by Samuel Heredia Carmona at the Olympic Games in Rio yesterday Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Paddy Barnes following his shock defeat by Samuel Heredia Carmona at the Olympic Games in Rio yesterday Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Michael Conlan launched a passionate defence of Ireland's Paddy Barnes after his shock defeat in Rio.

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Barnes was beaten by Samuel Heredia Carmona on a split decision and afterwards admitted that he had no energy after the first round and will never fight at 49kg again.

Annalise Murphy after winning her race Photo: David Branigan/Sportsfile
Annalise Murphy after winning her race Photo: David Branigan/Sportsfile

"I'm just so tired, I'm feeling too big for the weight," he said. "There were doubts about me making the weight. I didn't think I was going to make it, but I pushed myself that hard because it was the Olympic Games."

Barnes's natural weight is 59kg and he has often spoken of the "torture" of trying to stay legal for the light-fly division.

Speaking after the fight, the Belfast fighter said he was absolutely devastated by the defeat.

"I felt good getting into the ring today. But, to be honest with you, at the end of that first round, my energy was completely gone. I had nothing whatsover to give," he said.

"I'm absolutely devastated. I came here to win the gold medal."

While the overwhelming reaction was supportive of Barnes, the Belfast man was the victim of some online trolling.

Fellow boxer Conlan jumped to Barnes's defence, tweeting: "The fact some of you idiots on here giving Paddy Barnes stick is a f***ing disgraceful (sic), what he's done for the country is unbelieveable.

"Anyway, Paddy Barnes is a Legend of Irish sport and always will be. Done a lot more for Ireland than most ever will."

The Games got off to a better start for sailor Annalise Murphy, who won her opening race and then came 14th in her second, leaving her in fourth position overall after her first day.

Murphy (26) sailed to victory in the first race of the women's Laser Radial opening series.

The Dubliner, who just missed out on a medal in London four years ago, clocked a time of 50:57 to finish 21 seconds ahead of her nearest challenger, Evi van Acker from Belgium. In her second race of the day, Murphy secured 14th position to leave herself in fourth position overall.

Meanwhile, Ireland's Padraig McCarthy suffered a dramatic fall in the cross-country element to the Three-Day Eventing competition in Rio. McCarthy came a cropper on the challenging course when his horse Simon Porloe caught his hind legs in the fence.

Ireland were fifth overall in the team event overnight, following two days of dressage but this setback could have a big impact on their medal hopes.

Irish Independent

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