Paddy Barnes keeps Olympic hopes alive with Dublin win

Hugh Myers is on the defensive as Paddy Barnes lands a punch
Hugh Myers on the defensive as Paddy Barnes lands a punch

Paddy Barnes is on course to make the Olympic Games in London after retaining his Irish light-flyweight title on Friday night.

The Belfast fighter defeated Kildare youngster Hugh Myres 21-17 at the Irish Championships in Dublin.

Barnes, who won Olympic bronze four years ago, goes through to the final European qualifier in Turkey.

There were also victories for Belfast pair Michael Conlan (flyweight) and Tommy McCarthy (heavyweight).

Conlan, who has already qualified for London, beat Chris Phelan 19-11 while McCarthy had a third-round knockout win over Athy's Christy Joyce.

McCarthy, who like Barnes won a medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, has moved up to heavyweight this year after losing national deciders against Kenny Egan at light-heavy in 2009 and 2010.

The Oliver Plunkett fighter will join Barnes at the Olympic qualifier in Trabzon in April.

Olympic silver medallist Ken Egan suffered a 29-10 defeat to Joe Ward in their light-heavyweight rematch.

Ward shocked Egan in last year's Irish finals which forced Egan to move up to heavyweight for last year's World Championships, which was the opening Olympic qualifier.

That proved an unsuccessful foray for Dubliner Egan and he came back down at light-heavy for these championships.

Elite Irish Finals

Light-flyweight: Paddy Barnes (Holy Family) bt Hugh Myres (Ryston)

Bantamweight: John Joe Nevin (Cavan) bt Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)

Flyweight: Michael Conlan (St John Bosco) bt Chris Phelan (Ryston)

Light-heavyweight: Joe Ward (Moate) bt Ken Egan (Neilstown)

Lightweight: Michael McDonagh (St Mary's) bt David Oliver Joyce (St Michael's Athy)

Middleweight: Darren O'Neill (Paulstown) w/o Conor Coyle (St Joseph's)

Welterweight: Adam Nolan (Bray) bt John Joe Joyce (St Michael's Athy)

Light-welterweight: Ross Hickey (Grangecon) bt Stephen Coughlan (Bray)

Heavyweight: Tommy McCarthy (Oliver Plunkett) bt Christy Joyce (St Michael's Athy)

Super-heavyweight: Con Sheehan (Clonmel) bt Sean Turner (Drimnagh)

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