PADDY BARNES WILL become the first Irish Olympic boxer to earn medals at two Games after defeating Devendro Singh Laishram 23-18 at the ExCel Arena tonight.
The Belfast fighter, who picked up bronze in Beijing, was up against the world No2 in his quarter-final and took an early lead by winning the first round 7-5.
Singh was given a warning and two-point penalty during Round 2, which ended 10-5. Barnes was then handed a warning of his own before the final bell but finished with a five-point lead.
“Words cant describe how I feel,” he told RTE Sport afterwards. “I knew he comes forward and I tried to box a bit. I felt stronger than him. He caught me with a few silly shots but I just coasted to the end.
I knew he was dangerous opponent. I was really confident because I took out the two other top Indians before. At the end of the day, if you take the word Olympics out of it I fought all these boxers before.”
It was his second victory in London after the 25-year-old got the better of Cameroon’s Thomas Essomba in the last 16 and he will now step back into the ring on Friday for his semi-final bout.
His opponent will be Shiming Zou of China. On the 2008 gold medallist, Barnes added:
“He beat me 15-0 before so my aim is to score one point and go from there. I’ve been training hard. Bronze is for losers, I’m going for gold.”