Paddy Barnes: Two-time Olympic bronze medallist vows to continue pro career

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'I really was considering it' - Paddy Barnes on retirement u-turn

Paddy Barnes has pledged to return to the flyweight division after deciding to continue his professional career.

The double Olympic bronze medallist hinted he would retire in the wake of his bantamweight loss to Oscar Mojica.

The split-decision win for Mojica at Madison Square Garden was Barnes' second consecutive defeat since turning professional in 2016.

"I was retiring after that fight. I really was considering retirement," admitted Barnes.

"I've tried to fast-track myself. I've only had seven fights and my record is five (wins) and two (losses) but I haven't fought seven journeymen, I've fought a world champion, ex-European champions and people who had fought for world titles.

"Going forward I probably need to rein it in a bit and give myself a six-fight plan and not be the fastest world champion but just go as far as I can."

In the immediate aftermath of his defeat by Mojica, the 31-year-old told reporters: "I will probably retire now. I don't think there is any point boxing on after a defeat like that.

"The fans were great but at the end of the day I have to take care of my health. If I am going to box like that, then what's the point boxing anymore? I can't contest for a world title with that performance."

Barnes considered retirement following his defeat by Oscar Mojica in New York
Barnes' loss to Oscar Mojica was his second straight defeat

But a fortnight of reflection has given Barnes a fresh perspective on his first fight in the bantamweight division and the Belfast boxer is resolved to rebuild his reputation and work towards challenging for a world title once again.

"I've had time to think about what happened (against Mojica)," Barnes added.

"I took that fight because of the stage it was on, I took the fight at bantamweight and he was much bigger and stronger than me. I still want to fight again (but) going forward I'll be fighting at flyweight.

"The transition (from amateur to professional) was tougher than I thought. In my third fight I fought for the European (title), fifth the intercontinental. No one does that.

"If its going to happen it will be a bit longer but the passion is still there. Even in my last fight fighting against a guy much bigger and stronger than me."

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