“It’s a serious step up, but I don’t care” – Barnes targets recent World title challenger

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Paddy Barnes [1(0)-0] is planning a massive jump up in class for his second professional fight next year.

The Belfast flyweight had something of a farcical debut earlier this month at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, seeing his first foe Stefan Slavchev disqualified in the fourth for a move more familiar to the WWE than boxing.

The double Olympic bronze medalist stressed afterwards his desire for serious opponents, noting how Slavchev was more a foe of necessity due to his disrupted camp. The 29 year old wants World title honours fast and is eyeing what could possibly be the biggest second pro fight in the history of Irish boxing.

The outspoken Ulsterman is targeting a World-ranked fighter who has recently fought in a World title bout.

Barnes told the popular BoxHard Podcast that “for my next fight I’ve asked my management team [for a big fight], I can’t say no names, but I’ve asked them for hopefully a title fight, a major title fight, an international title, against a fighter who I think is ranked 7th in he world.

“His last fight was a World title fight, he lost it. I’m hopeful. It’s a serious, serious, step up – but I don’t care, I’m ready for it.”

Explaining his reasoning behind taking a potentially risky match-up so early in his career, Barnes described how “you could fight journeymen every week and sometimes they would make me look bad. I feel I’m ready to push on. The better the opponent for me, the better I am, and the more I can showcase my skills.”

In terms of the when and the where, Barnes wants the bout to take place in Belfast on the next Boxnation show, but admits that New York is a more likely venue. The Ardoyne man outlined how “I’m hearing there’s a show in Belfast at the end February, early March. If the opponent, and I can’t him travelIing to Ireland, but if he could that that would be brilliant. If not, I’m hopeful it maybe could be on the Top Rank bill in Madison Square Garden on St Patrick’s Day.”

While Barnes could not confirm his opponent, going by his description it could perhaps be one of Filipino Jonathan Taconing [22(18)-3(0)] or Argentinean Juan Carlos Reveco [36(19)-3(1)].

WBC #7 Taconing challenged for the WBC light flyweight title in July, losing on points to Ganigan Lopez in Mexico. The Asian has a bout scheduled for tomorrow in his home country against Salatiel Amit for the WBC International trinket.

Reveco on the other hand is ranked #7 by Boxrec.com at flyweight. The South American was stopped in the penultimate round of his WBA title fight with Kazuto Ioka in Japan last December and returns to the ring in two weeks time in a non-title ten rounder.

Listen to Barnes’s interview on the BoxHard Podcast (Ep 57) in full below

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie