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Paddy Barnes confirms professional move and wants first fight in Belfast

Paddy Barnes has confirmed he is turning professional and is hoping to have his first fight in Belfast.

The Two-time Olympic bronze medallist made the announcement on the Paddy Power website. The boxer has a sponsorship deal with the firm.

He said: “Now it’s time to go pro, I’ve been in the amateurs too long and I want a new challenge.

“The experience was brilliant, but after a few Olympics I know what it’s like.”

Barnes said he was hoping for a bout in the city this Christmas.

"It’s my home city so it would be great to begin my career there,” added Barnes.

“I’m going to start off at a flyweight, hopefully move through the weights and probably end up bantamweight at the end of my career.

“I’ll still be disappointed with my (amateur) career, not winning a gold medal.

“That will never leave me, but bringing back the world title is something that’s just as recognisable. That will in some ways make up for it.”

Barnes won bronze for Ireland at the 2008 Beijing Games as well as the 2012 London Olympics.

He was thwarted from winning a third successive medal at three game in Rio when he was sensationally defeated by Spain's Samuel Carmona.

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