TEAM NI: Paddy Barnes helps keep Northern Ireland’s boxing bandwagon rolling

Northern Ireland's Michael Conlan (red) in action against Uganda's Bashir Nasir
Northern Ireland's Michael Conlan (red) in action against Uganda's Bashir Nasir

Paddy Barnes was a class apart once again on Wednesday as he elevated Northern Ireland’s boxing medals haul up to seven at the Commonwealth Games.

Barnes cruised into the semi-finals of the light-flyweight class with another easy win in Glasgow.

The defending champion produced an impressive third-round stoppage win over Papua New Guinea’s Charles Keama.

It helped continue another stellar day in the ring for Northern Ireland’s boxers.

Earlier in the day Michael Conlan, Michaela Walsh and Alanna Audley-Murphy all made sure they would claim at least a bronze medal following wins.

Belfast bantamweight Conlan eased past Uganda’s Bashir Nasir at the SECC to take victory by a unanimous decision.

The Olympic bronze medallist was never tested against Nasir but was not satisfied with his open performance.

“He was an awkward opponent but that was far away from being a good performance,” said the 22-year-old.

“I was getting a bit bored coming into the final round although I had to be careful as he was very dangerous with his head.

“That’s why it was a boring fight - I want to excel but I didn’t want to get any cuts and so did what I needed to win.”

Conlan will take on Sean McGoldrick of Wales in Friday’s semi-finals.

Flyweight Walsh also had a unanimous win, seeing off Jamaican Sarah Joy Rae to become Northern Ireland’s first female boxing medallist in the Games.

The 21-year-old from Belfast was in control from the start of her quarter-final contest and eased to victory in the four rounds.

Walsh will next face a sterner test against Pinki Jangra of India.

Walsh’s team-mate Alanna Audley-Murphy squeezed through to the middleweight semi-finals on a split decision over Islington-based Dominican Valerian Spicer.

On Wednesday evening Ballymena fighter Steven Donnelly progressed to the semi-finals with victory in his quarter-final bout.

Joe Fitzpatrick, Sean Duffy and Sean McGlinchy are also in the semi-finals.