Paddy Barnes loses to Carmona Heredia in Rio Olympics shock defeat, says he will not compete at Tokyo 2020
'I shouldn't be fighting at that weight. It is so hard getting down to it'
Ireland's Olympic flag-bearer Paddy Barnes has lost his fight against Spanish boxer Samuel Carmona Heredia.
The Belfast boxer lost the match on a split decision.
Heredia came out of the blocks flying winning the first round. Barnes bounced back to take the second and the contest seemed wide open in the third when he landed two good rights on Heredia.
It appeared Barnes might have down enough but the judges did not agree.
The Chinese judge awarded the match to Barnes 29-28. However the Canadian and Uzbekistani judges scored it 29-28 to Heredia.
Barnes was hoping to win a third Olympic medal having taken bronze at Beijing and London.
Light-flyweight Barnes said after the match that he had felt drained and had struggled to make the weight. He confirmed that he will not be competing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
It's a full 16 months since Barnes fought competitively at 49kg and the Belfast man admitted that he will never enter the ring at that weight again.
"I shouldn't be fighting at that weight. It is so hard getting down to it. In the second round I had nothing left. I had absolutely nothing left to give. In the first round I was dead. I was gone," Barnes told RTE after the fight.
"I don't know where I got the energy from to throw as many punches as I did. That's just the way it goes.
"It's always hard to make the weight but this time to go from 58 kilo to 49 kilo - there were questions and I was doubting if I could make the weight. I just made it and I don't know how I made it."
Team Ireland captain Barnes was one of Ireland's main medal hopes in Rio and he fully believed it was a feat he would achieve.
"I was favourite for gold and I genuinely believed that I would come away with the gold medal. Even If I had won, the next fight I would have got hammered again because I have no energy. Just as well I got beaten because I would have been embarrassed next week.
"This morning will be the last time I will be 49 kilo ever. I will not be fighting at 49 kilo again, it is too hard."
It is the second major setback for the Irish, already stunned by a positive drugs test for Michael O'Reilly, who has been provisionally suspended pending the results of a 'B' sample.