Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan are ready to put in a Titanic performance at this summer’s Olympic Games in London.
And the only two Belfast-born members of the Irish boxing team are heading to the Games with one thing on their minds – winning medals.
The two fighters announced news yesterday of a unique partnership with Titanic Belfast.
As part of this deal Barnes and Conlan will write exclusive blogs from the Olympic Games for Titanic Belfast’s Facebook and Twitter social pages.
Barnes, a bronze medal winner at the Beijing Games in 2008, is a favourite to win Gold in London.
He is also a six-in-a-row Irish Elite light-flyweight champion, and has also a Gold medal winner at the European Championships, and the Commonwealth Games.
And Barnes is determined to go the whole way in London.
“Every competition I enter I want to win. I believe I can win gold and that is what I am going to London to do.
“You have to go there wanting to win Gold and that is my aim.
“We have a strong boxing team going to the Games and we all are looking to win medals.
“This could be a massive summer for Irish amateur boxing.
“And Titanic Belfast has put our city on the map and made us all proud of what Belfast can achieve.
“And I will do my best to add to that sense of pride,” he added
Barnes’ team-mate Conlan will mark his Olympic debut in London.
A member of the John Bosco club in West Belfast, Conlan qualified for the Games last October.
And the Irish Elite flyweight champion is looking forward to getting started.
“I know I’m up there with all the top guys, but I’m not worried about anybody else and I’m not looking out for anybody else.
“When I get in the ring, I just have to do what I do and perform to the best of my ability.
“I have watched a few of the guys in my weight division – but I have to concentrate on my strengths and what I am good at.”
And Conlan says he will go into the Games full of confidence and self-belief – but not arrogance.
“I’m not worried and I’m not nervous. It’s just another competition for me, but as the Games get closer the buzz in the camp is growing and growing.
“Preparation is going well and we head to Italy on July 13 for a training camp and then we head to London. We also have fights against India on Saturday night (July 30) at the National stadium.” he added.
A strong Irish team is heading to the Games and Conlan believes medals are a strong possibility.
“We have a good team and medals are what the game are all about. All the fighters in the team are in with a chance of winning a medal.”
And what about his chances of getting his hands on a gong?
“It would be nice – but I am going there to perform and do my best and we will see what happens.
“It is great that the Games are so close to Belfast. A have a few people travelling over for the Games – but getting tickets is a nightmare.”