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TEAM NI: Boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan secure gold medals for Northern Ireland

Paddy Barnes

Paddy Barnes

 

Northern Ireland boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan were celebrating gold medal glory in Glasgow on Saturday.

Light-flyweight Barnes retained his Commonwealth Games light-flyweight title by outpointing India’s Devendro Laishram in the Hydro in Glasgow.

Barnes produced a controlled performance from the start to claim a clear points win and add to the title he won in Delhi four years ago.

Barnes’ team-mate Conlan made it two gold medals for Northern Ireland when he outpointed England’s Qais Ashfaq in an entertaining bantamweight brawl.

Reflecting on his own win, Barnes said: “That was the hardest fight of my life. I didn’t really box my best because he was non-stop. But I was too strong for him.

“I remember fighting in China in front of 13,000 Chinese guys who wanted the head punched off me, but I’ll tell you what that was unbelievable out there.

“The Scottish fans were great. I love fighting in places like this.”

Asked about rumours he may be about to turn professional, Barnes said: “When ever some promoter pays my mortgage off.”

Conlan showed heart and courage as he claimed another gold medal in the Hydro.

English opponent Ashfaq made a strong start and won the first round on two of the three judges’ cards but Conlan used his experience and well-picked shots to claw back into the bout.

Conlan had edged through to the final on a technical decision after his fight against Welshman Sean McGoldrick was stopped in the second round due to cuts.

But the inch-long gash just above Conlan’s left eye did not reopen despite the come-forward nature of the contest, and the Northern Irishman made sure of his place on top of the podium.

Northern Ireland’s other gold medal hope Joe Fitzpatrick lost out in his bid – going down to Scottish favourite Charlie Flynn in the lightweight division.

 

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