Barnes will produce Moscow magic, says Walsh
Published 04/06/2010 | 01:25
Paddy Barnes has put any previous indiscretions behind him and is ready to once again be a major medal winner according to Irish coach Billy Walsh.
Barnes is part of the Irish team who have arrived in Moscow for the European senior championships which start tomorrow.
The Belfast man was criticised for his outbursts following defeats at the Beijing Olympics when he claimed bronze and also at last year's World Championships.
Head coach Walsh says he has been delighted with the way Barnes has applied himself ahead of the Europeans and is one of many who he believes can bring home a medal.
Walsh said: “I have spoken to Paddy about what happened at the World Championships but to be honest I didn't have to say a lot because he knew more than anyone else that he let himself down. It wasn't the true Paddy we have come to love and respect as a fighter.
“He's a fiery character, he loves to win and he just couldn't handle defeat. That's no excuse and he knows that he has to be more gracious in defeat but you can't take that fire away because that is part of what makes him who he is, makes him successful.
“For these championships he has been very professional in his attitude to training and he came to be recently and said that he feels in better shape now than he did going into the Olympics so I am very hopeful of him doing well and I'm convinced that I won't have any problems with him on this trip or in the future.
“He's looking very good, we've had a great training camp in the Ukraine and have arrived here in Moscow before any of the other teams so we will be settled and ready to go on Saturday.
“It's the first time since Beijing that we have had the four Olympians in the same team and we also have a World junior champion in Ray Moylette as well as two European medallists so we have quite a strong team and we go in with high expectations.”
Olympic light-heavyweight silver medallist Kenny Egan is expected to bring home a medal, while bantam John Joe Nevin and welter John Joe Joyce must also have high hopes.