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TEAM NI: Paddy Barnes believes headguards will return after latest clashes

Northern Ireland's Michael Conlan (Red) in action against Wales' Sean McGoldrick

Northern Ireland's Michael Conlan (Red) in action against Wales' Sean McGoldrick

Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes believes the sport’s world governing body will vote to bring back headguards after a Commonwealth Games campaign marred by a series of high-profile cuts.

Barnes breezed into his second consecutive light-flyweight final with a unanimous decision win over Uganda’s Fazil Kaggwa.

But earlier in the day he watched his friend Michael Conlan scrape through against Welshman Sean McGoldrick on a technical decision after sustaining a bad cut over his right eye from an accidental headbutt.

And Northern Ireland lightweight Joe Fitzpatrick also required treatment to a gash beneath his left eye after a straightforward win over Michael Alexander of Trinidad.

Conlan in particular now faces a race against time to be fit for Saturday’s bantamweight final against England’s Qais Ashfaq, and Barnes believes a U-turn on the decision is inevitable.

Barnes said: “I think headguards will be back. It’s great to see them off because it’s better to watch, but it’s impossible to fight so many times in so few days without headguards on – it’s ridiculous.”

Conlan, who also suffered a cut to the top of his head in his first round win over Matthew Martin, is convinced he will be able to compete in the final.

“I felt the cut straight away but it was cleaned up well by the doctor and I will be in the ring tomorrow,” Conlan said.

“I’ve never been cut on the face or the head in my life until this tournament so it’s a bit unfortunate, but I’ve had it glued and it will be okay.

“I was happy with the way I boxed before it was stopped and I am just happy to be in the final. Tomorrow is going to be a golden day.”

 

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