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Paddy Barnes weighs up a move into pro game

By David Kelly

Double Olympic medallist Paddy Barnes looks set to hang up his amateur vest and weigh up a move into boxing's professional ranks.

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Barnes was left gutted with the way his Olympic dream crumbled in Rio when the weight-drained Belfast man exited at the first hurdle in the light-flyweight division. Now it seems the former European champion is ready for a new chapter in his life.

It is understood that professional outfits are keen to make Barnes an offer to turn over and at 29 he knows that it really is a case of now or never to make the switch into the paid ranks on the back of a great amateur career.

"I'll have made a decision within the next few weeks about what I do next, but I would say that more or less my amateur days are over," revealed Barnes, the Irish boxing team captain in Rio.

"When I look at what I have achieved as an amateur I am very proud - I never could have believed I would have won so much. I've got some great memories.

"Turning professional is an option for me and it's something that I will look at. 

"If I go pro I'd have about five years and that will be it, but there's a vacancy as the Olympic Council of Ireland President so maybe I should go for that!"

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