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Billy Walsh backs “fresh start” for Paddy Barnes

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Billy Walsh has backed Paddy Barnes to be a big success in the pro game and believes that he can become a World champion.

The Belfast puncher announced last week that he is to turn professional, and is expected to debut on the Belfast Boxnation show on November 5th at the Titanic Exhibition Centre.

Barnes’s former amateur coach Walsh feels that the double Olympic bronze medalist has all the tools needed to prosper in the paid ranks.

Speaking on Newstalk 106FM’s Off The Ball, the Wexford man described how “he’s an exceptionally hard and dedicated trainer.”

“Knowing Paddy, he can punch, he’s a hard puncher. He has a great work rate, and there are not too many flyweights out there who are going to be able to stick with him over eight or ten rounds, if he can extend his stamina to last that long.”

“He’s a world-class boxer.”

Indeed Walsh believes that it is Barnes’s adaptability rather than his talent which will determine how he fares as a professional. The Team USA head coach explained that “It’s about how he adapts to the professional game, which is different to the amateur game.”

“It’s really like starting all over again, in the amateurs he was maybe getting a bit long in the tooth for it, but now, this is really a fresh start for him, and there needs to be a fresh impetus, but if he’s going to make this work, he definitely has the tools to become a World champion if he’s managed properly.”

“It’s a new chapter in his life, he is an exceptional talent.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: