Don’t be fooled by the smiles. Both Paddy Barnes [6(1)-2(1)] and Jay Harris [16(8)-0] predict an entertaining all action affair when the meet in the ring on the top of the #MTKFightNight card set for the Ulster Hall this Friday.
The undefeated EBU and Commonwealth champion and two-time Olympic medalist remained respectful at the final press conference ahead, but while there is no bad blood in the build up the consensus between the fighters and many more is blood could be drawn during their flyweight clash .
The Swansea fighter and the Belfast favourite collided for the IBF Inter-Continental title on a sold-out #MTKFightNight at the Ulster Hall; live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV worldwide.
Having sparred many rounds together, the pair seemed quietly confident of clinching the belt on the night and expressed as much at the press conference while foregoing any pre-fight insults.
“This is a great fight. We’ve sparred twice and those two spars were great spars. I won’t say any more than that but this one is just going to be great for the fans,” Harris said.
FIRST FACE-OFF 👀@jayharris19 vs. @paddyb_ireland— MTK Global 🌍 (@MTKGlobal) October 9, 2019
🏆 IBF Inter-Continental flyweight title
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📺 @ESPN+ / @IFLTV #TeamMTKGlobal #HarrisBarnes pic.twitter.com/qjPgTqLlzl
“I’m confident and if I box to the best of my ability, I don’t see anything besides a victory for myself on the night.
“The winner of this will progress to world level and all of the flyweight world champions are good. They’re world champions for a reason.”
Singing off a similar hymn sheet Barnes added:
“This is huge for me to be boxing in my hometown. I was offered this fight and it can lead to an immediate world title shot so it was a no-brainer.
“I know Jay well and respect him. We had great spars ahead of my world title fight against Cristofer Rosales but I’m going into this one confident I have what it takes to beat him.
“To me, what matters most about this fight is the ranking it gets you and the fact it puts you straight into world title reckoning.”
Joining Harris vs. Barnes on a spectacular bill are the likes of fast-rising Belfast stars Sean McComb, Lewis Crocker, debutants Paddy Donovan and Pierce O’Leary and many more.