Boxing: Barnes delivers warning to familiar foe Moore
BELFAST'S Paddy Barnes has expressed confidence that he can maintain his dominance of the light-flyweight division versus Jimmy Moore at the Elite National Men's Senior finals at the National Stadium in Dublin tonight.
The Elite Men's and inaugural Women's Championships, the penultimate tournament before the IABA celebrates its 100th birthday next year, will be run over the next two evenings with finals scheduled for tonight and tomorrow.
Ken Egan, who will be aiming for a historic 10th senior title in row, defending champions Willie McLaughlin, Darren O'Neill and Con Sheehan and European Youth champion Jason Quigley will be in action at IABA headquarters.
Barnes, a bronze medal winner at the Beijing Olympics and ranked ninth in the world, will be aiming for his fourth Irish title in succession versus Moore, who beat the Holy Family clubman in the 2005 semi-final and 2006 final.
However, Barnes beat the St Francis clubman in the 2007 and 2008 finals (he received a walkover in 2009) and says he is confident he can retain his 48Kg crown.
"We won't need any introduction at this stage," said Barnes. "My training and sparring have gone very well. I'm very confident that I will win, but I won't be taking anything for granted."
Meanwhile, World and European champ Katie Taylor and her Irish team-mate Sinead Kavanagh meet Ukrainians Julia Tsyplakova, a European Championships finalist, and Tetyana Ivashchenko in special bouts tonight.
Taylor, who has been invited to the White House as a guest of US President Barack Obama on St Patrick's Day, entered the inaugural Women's Championships but received a walkover after no one entered her weight division.
John Joe Joyce meets McLaughlin tonight, while middleweight champ O'Neill faces European Youth gold medalist Quigley. Sheehan and Alan Reynolds clash in a repeat of the heavyweight final of last year, which Sheehan won.
Tomorrow's duels feature 2009 World Senior bronze medalist John Joe Nevin and 2008 World Youth champion Ray Moylette and the eagerly anticipated St Michael's Athy derby between Eric Donovan and David Oliver Joyce, the current European Union champion.
The Donovan versus Joyce lightweight clash is a repeat of the featherweight final of three years ago which Joyce won and Donovan says that he won't be thinking out loud this time out.
"The last time my predictions backfired on me. The only thing I'll predict this time is that boxing fans will see a top-class final," he said.
The flyweight, featherweight and super heavyweight belts are vacant at the 2010 Elite Championships. The Novice Championships finals will also be decided at the National Stadium this weekend.