The Cliftonville flyweight won two Olympic bronzes, two Commonwealth golds, a European gold and silver, an EU silver, and excelled in the World Series of Boxing during his amateur days.
However, the pros are a different game, and WBC champion Rosales plans on showing Barnes who’s boss when they clash next weekend.
The diminutive duo box on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s Windsor Park clash with Luke Jackson in what is, by far, the best fight on the bill.
A massive step up for 31-year-old Barnes [5(1)-0] in just his sixth fight but the Nicaraguan titleholder still represents a massively winnable fight for the inexperienced pro.
— Cristofer Rosales (@Cristof29794489) July 30, 2018
Rosales [27(18)-3(0)] is making the first defence of the belt he won in April when he knocked out a severely weight-drained Daigo Higa, who had been stripped of the belt on the scales the day before, in nine rounds.
Previously he had been outpointed by Kal Yafai and Andrew Selby although he dropped the latter and also holds a stoppage win over EU champion Mohammed Obbadi.
23-year-old Rosales can be said to be improving in the pros and, accustomed to going into opponents’ backyards, he is not overawed at the prospect of facing Paddy Barnes
“Even though he had a good career as an amateur, I’m going to show him that I am the champion,” promised Rosales.
The confident champion added that “I’m in phenomenal shape to defend my crown. This training camp has been excellent. We have total confidence of defeating Barnes.”