If ever there was an Irish sportsperson who's happy to speak his mind, it's Conor McGregor. If ever there was an Irish sportsperson who's happy to speak his mind without the knowledge that it will lead to bumper paycheques, it's Paddy Barnes. The Belfast boxer is always a very engaging personality inside and outside the ring and so he proved once again during a wide-ranging interview with the Sunday Mirror.
Given their shared standing at the top of combat sports in Ireland, it's understandable that the subject of Conor McGregor's rise to international prominence would come up and while Barnes says he enjoys hearing McGregor speak, he admitted that MMA doesn't particularly interest him. As for switching the boxing ring for the Octagon? That doesn't look likely anytime soon.
I wouldn’t like running around fighting in my speedos to be honest. I don’t even watch the MMA. I love watching McGregor’s interviews and I think he’s really funny but I’ve never seen him fighting and I wouldn’t even know the rules to be honest.
Barnes also turned his attention to what the future might hold. First up is his long stated ambition to win an Olympic gold medal in Rio. However, following that, he has his eyes on an altogether different career.
Kenny Egan was always my idol. I looked up to him my whole life and always wanted to copy him so maybe I could go into politics like he did.
I’d do a better job than half the politicians in this country anyway. Or maybe I could be president. I think Michael D Higgins might be one of the few people I’m actually taller than.