DESPITE MAKING HISTORY in becoming the first Irish boxer ever to secure two medals at the Olympics this evening, Paddy Barnes promised to retain his focus ahead of his semi-final against Zou Shiming of China on Friday.
Speaking to TheScore.ie, Barnes admitted that his win, in which he secured a bronze medal at the very least, was hard-earned.
“It was a tough fight,” he said. “He was strong, fast and very dangerous. So I had to keep my cool and get my shots off, which I did. I had to keep calm and show composure – that was the gameplan.”
He added: “I had to be really cautious going into that fight. I [tried to] beat him at his own game, and it worked out. My whole life was on the line in that fight.”
Barnes said Shiming, whom he faces next, was likely to be a formidable opponent, and joked:
“[He's a] three-time world champion, Olympic champion and he’s beaten me 15-0, and I just hope to score a point against him – you can tell him that too. And that will be my Olympic goal.”
But on a more serious note, Barnes promised not to rest on his laurels, saying:
“I’m only in the semi-finals. I’m not going to stop and be happy. If I have a gold medal I’ll be happy.”