Paddy Barnes calls time on career

. Boxing In Madison Square Garden, New York, USA 17/3/2019'Paddy Barnes vs Oscar Mojica'Paddy Barnes in action with Oscar Mojica'Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Emily Harney
. Boxing In Madison Square Garden, New York, USA 17/3/2019'Paddy Barnes vs Oscar Mojica'Paddy Barnes in action with Oscar Mojica'Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Emily Harney
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Belfast’s Paddy Barnes has announced his retirement from boxing.

The decision comes following the 32-year-old’s third defeat in four fights after he lost to Jay Harris in the Ulster Hall in October.

In a statement on Twitter, Barnes - who won Oympic bronze medals for Ireland at light-flyweight in Beijing and London - said: “After taking some time I’ve come to a decision to retire. I’ve had a great career and achieved so much.

“I have loved every minute of boxing, it has been my life for the past 21 years.

“I achieved my dream of becoming an Olympian and getting to carry the Irish flag at the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

“Those moments were the proudest of my career.

“Professional boxing was never a dream of mine but I tried and threw myself into the deep end straight away. It didn’t work out but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’d like to thank my family for supporting me throughout my entire career, my wife Mari for keeping my feet firmly on the ground and helping towards my goals.

“I want to thank my parents, Jimmy Linden, Gerry Storey, Seamy McCann and everyone at the Holy Family boxing club.”

Barnes won gold medals while competing for Northern ireland at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games.

He represented Ireland at the 2018, 2012 and 2016 Olympics and carried the Irish flag at the Rio Games three years ago during a distinguished career.