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Barnes backs Taylor to bring boxing back to the Irish mainstream

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Paddy Barnes knows the talent Katie Tayor possesses more than most, having shared the ring with her countless times.

The old amateur team mates were regular sparring partners in the High Performance Unit, and now the pair both look set to try their gloves at the pro game following a combined total of five Olympics and 25 major medals.

Barnes makes his debut next Saturday at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast, while Kevin Byrne revealed this week that Taylor looks set to debut on a Matchroom Promotions card in London on November 26th.

Recalling their furious fights, Barnes told RTÉ Sport that “every spar we had was a war. We used to kill each other. Her speed is phenomenal. She is a very, very fast boxer. Her speed and timing are out of this world.”

“She can take a punch, I know myself I can punch hard. I’ve hit her clean a lot of times and she’s taken it well.”

Taylor is arguably the most well-known boxer in Ireland, and Barnes believes that her move to the pros could help usher in a new golden age for Irish boxing.

The Belfast flyweight predicted that “if she was to fight in Ireland it will give other professionals the chance to get on her card because there aren’t too many shows in Ireland.”

“It could give every other Irish pro a good chance to get recognised. It could open the floodgates for everyone else to make a living from the sport.”

“People all over the world know who Katie Taylor is. With her being professional and fighting on TV it could be something like Laila Ali, Muhammad Ali’s daughter”

“I think Katie Taylor is going to do the same on this side of the world.”

Watch Paddy Barnes and Katie Taylor spar:

Video courtesy of RTÉ

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