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Barnes believes he is perfect fit for world champ Sho Kimura

Paddy Barnes [5(1)-0] believes WBO World flyweight champion Sho Kimura could be tempted to come to Belfast and put his title on the line in 2018.

The in-a-hurry triple Olympian recently outlined his desire to fight the man who dethroned his arch-rival Zou Shiming to claim the title and believes he is a viable option for the Japanese World title holder.

The 30-year-old Belfast fighter is eligible to challenge thanks to his top ten ranking and having just successfully defended his title against his mandatory challenger – Kimura [16(9)-1(1)-2] is now free to make a voluntary defence.

While it would be extremely early in his pro career, double Olympic bronze medalist Barnes is hopeful that he will get the nod.

Indeed, the WBO European and Inter-Continental title holder claims he is an attractive proposition for a fighter with no notoriety outside of Japan.

Queensbury and MTK did manage to persuade Jerwin Ancajas to come to Ireland and fight Jamie Conlan on the undercard of a massive Carl Frampton fight and Barnes seems confident they can deliver again.

Whether or not it could be an option for the undercard of ‘The Jackal’ versus Nonito Donaire in April remains to be seen, but Barnes is certainly willing and optimistic.

“At the end of the day, they’re only rankings belts. I’m 10th at the minute. I’m hopeful that the World Title fight is very soon,” Barnes told Boxnation TV before outlining how a clash could be mutually beneficial for the little men.

“I see he defended his title on New Year’s Eve. The fight could be made because I’m in the top 10 rankings. He had a mandatory fight there against the number one contender. Hopefully he would pick me [for a voluntary] because for him it would be a positive thing to fight me.”

“Nobody really knows him outside of Japan. No one really knows me anywhere either, except Ireland and the UK. If he was to fight me, the exposure he would get would be unbelievable. He’s obviously good, he’s World Champion, but I’d be confident in beating him. Definitely.”

Kimura has of yet been unavailable to comment on a potential match up, but one fighter only too willing to discuss all things Paddy Barnes was ‘The Leprechaun’s’ MTK stablemate Sunny Edwards [6(2)-0].

The pair have exchanged verbals on Twitter, but the Irish star is adamant Edwards is not on his radar.

Barnes claims the English fighter would be a massive step back at this stage in his career. However, while he says Edwards isn’t of any interest he has told him to mind his manners.

“I’ve stopped replying to his tweets because he’s an absolute no one, he’s a kid. I’m 30 years old, I’m not gonna be here for a long time. I’m not going to put myself through a 12-week camp for a backwards step.

“His friends and family sent some tweets. Some of them, for me, have been very insulting, and he’s told a lot of lies. If I was him I’d be very careful,” warned the Cliftonville man.



Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years