A more determined than ever Paddy Barnes has revealed some good old fashioned Irish craic helped him get over his August 18 world title defeat.
The two time Olympic medal winners attempts to become the quickest Irish fighter to achieve world title success was scuppered by a perfectly time body shot on the massive August 18 Windsor Park fight night.
Defeat in the WBC world flyweight title fight initially hurt ‘The Leprechaun’ as much as the punch landed in round 4 by champion Cristofer Rosales, but Barnes revealed the pain of both has subsided.
Those who have followed Barnes’ pro and amateur career would predict coming up short when presented the chance to make history would weigh heavy on a fighter who had a gold or bust attitude to the amateurs.
However, the Irish amateur legend admits he is over the reverse quicker than he expected- and while a belief a world title remains a realistic goal helped him through the mourning process a ruthlessly humorous group of friends played their part.
“After the loss, an hour later I looked at the Whatsapp group chat and the boys were asking if it was too early to slag me about getting beat,” Barnes told MTK.
“I love the ‘craic’. Obviously I was devastated I lost but because I’m a happy person, it’s helped me getting over the defeat faster than I probably should have.”
There is generally not too many positives from a fighter after a fourth round stoppage defeat regardless of the level, but Barnes seems to have taken assurances if not confidence from the world title defeat.
The Belfast fighter was told he was up on the cards by WBC officials, was happy with how he was performing up and until the stoppage and takes solace in the fact he was caught with a perfectly administered shot rather than being out fought or out classed over 12.
“It was warming up to be a good fight and then unfortunately that happened in the fourth round and ended the fight.
“I’ve a lot more fans than before because there were a lot more people watching it. They saw the same kind of style and he caught me with a lucky or unlucky shot.
“I remember coming home from Windsor Park with the WBC representative and he said I was two rounds ahead – albeit the fight was only just starting and the pace wasn’t that high.
“Rosales could’ve caught me with that shot in the 12th round and it would’ve been the same thing but I do feel I’m at that level. Technically I was better. He was tough. People say I can’t punch but I can punch and he just looked at me.
“I’m definitely world level. I want another world title shot in the near future. If I could fight for a world title next, I’m all or nothing so I’d say: ‘Let’s go for it.’”