Barnes eager to fight in front of ‘berserk’ MSG crowd

Paddy Barnes is hoping to play a role in making the Irish in New York go ‘berserk’ on St Patrick’s Day.

The three-time Olympian and two-time bronze medal winner has witnessed first hand how St Patrick’s Day in the Big Apple turns into Michael Conlan’s Night.

The recent world title challenger has been ringside as the Irish came out in force to support the Belfast man over the last two years and is now looking forward to going from witnessing the atmosphere to helping generate it at the MSG Theater this March 17th.

Belfast’s ‘Leprachaun’ makes a long-awaited return after his world title defeat to Cristofer Rosales at one of boxing’s most famous venues, where he takes on Oscar Mojica.

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Barnes has performed in front of huge crowds before turning professional but readily admits fighting on the same bill as old friend Michael Conlan on such a big occasion will be extra special.

“I’ve fought in some exceptional places. I fought Zou Shiming in Beijing in front of 13,000 and it was electric. The London Olympics was unreal. So were the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,” explained the flyweight world title hopeful.

“Then as a professional, obviously I fought Rosales at Windsor Park. These were all great stages but I’ve been to see two cards at Madison Square Garden with Mick headlining St Patrick’s Day and it’s just unbelievable.”

“The place is just jam-packed with the Irish and they really express themselves. They’re incredibly passionate – even during the ringwalk!”

“The Irish in New York always come out to support us. There are so many people with Irish ancestry there and in America in general. This is their day. They come out and go berserk. It’s great!”

Barnes and Conlan, who clashes with Ruben Garcia Hernandez, star on a huge Top Rank bill to be broadcast on ESPN+ and BoxNation.

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com