Paddy Barnes deserves respect regardless of what he decides to do moving forward according to Carl Frampton.
After suffering a third pro defeat in the Ulster Hall just over a week ago Barnes hinted at retirement. The three time Olympian went as far as to suggest his body was no longer able to absorb the kind of punishment needed to succeed at the top level.
The reverse and Barnes’ reaction prompted a host to predict retirement is on the cards, although nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
Close friend Frampton hasn’t made a suggestion as to what the European gold medalist and two time Olympic bronze medal winner should do, but he is adamant the Belfast flyweight deserves respect regardless.
Barnes’ amateur innings should mean he is held in high regard as an Irish great, but Frampton, who returns to the ring in Las Vegas on November 30, believes he deserves credit for his brave approach to the pro game.
“I’m obviously disappointed for Paddy. It was a hard fight and Jay Harris is a very good fighter, I really rate Harris and I think he’ll do good things in the sport,” Frampton said.
“You have to give Paddy credit. People will give him a lot of stick, his professional record doesn’t read that well. He’s taken risks and fought for a world title in his fourth fight and jumped in against Harris when he could have had fights at a lesser level. Whatever he decides to do he’s had a career that anybody would be proud of.”
Last Friday week wasn’t the greatest of nights for Barnes and not the happiest of nights for Irish fight fans as a result.
However, uniquely enough defeat for the home fighter on the top of the bill isn’t a disaster in terms of the sport particularly in Belfast. In fact it may not damage the scene too much at all.
Carl Frampton and Michael Conlan, although not as regular on the local scene, are still around whilst a host of new talent is developing in the city.
‘The Jackal’ believes Belfast is in a healthy boxing state and has fighters that can continue to carry the batton.
“There are so many good fighters. Sean McComb is a quality fighter. He had a hard fight at Ulster Hall last week but that’s the type of fight that will do him good, and he’ll have learned more from that fight than his previous ones combined.
“We’ve got a lot of good talent, Mick Conlan is obviously another, who is on Terence Crawford’s undercard against Nikitin who he was robbed against in the Olympics.
“There are loads to mention. Tommy McCarthy won a title away from home as well recently too, so there is plenty of talent in Belfast.”