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Belfast fighter Paddy Barnes announces retirement from boxing

Paddy Barnes
Paddy Barnes

Belfast's Paddy Barnes has announced his retirement from professional boxing.

The two-time Olympic bronze medalist made the announcement via a statement on Twitter on Thursday night.

He said he made the decision after "taking some time" and reflected on a "great career" during which he has "achieved so much".

“I have loved every minute of boxing, it has been my life for the last 21 years. I have achieved my dream of becoming an Olympian and getting to carry the Irish flag at the Olympic Games opening ceremony," he said.

"Those moments were the proudest of my career. Professional boxing was never a dream of mine, bit I tried and threw myself into the deep end straight away.

"It didn’t work out but I wouldn’t have had 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 me towards my goals.”

Barnes had a distinguished amateur career, representing Ireland at three Olympic Games and winning two gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games.

In doing so he cemented himself as one of Ireland's most successful amateur pugilists.

A long-awaiting move to the pro game followed, however the success of his amateur days never translated in the paid ranks.

The 32-year-old racked up his third pro defeat last month at the Ulster Hall against Jay Harris, after which he admitted he was considering retirement.

Barnes thanked all his coaches, everyone at the Holy Family Boxing Club where he learned his trade, his sponsors and promoters MTK.

"And lastly to the fans that supported me, you all made it worth while. Thank you! The Leprechaun," he added.

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