While Carl Frampton got a knockout win and the majority of the tens of thousands in attendance went home happy, the big card at Windsor Park on Saturday night saw a defeat for the Irish boxer in the most meaningful fight.
Belfast flyweight Paddy Barnes [5(1)-1(1)] was stopped in the fourth round of his WBC title challenge, being put down and out by an unseen right uppercut to the body by champion Cristofer Rosales [28(19)-3(0)].
It was an early title opportunity for the fast-tracked former amateur star as he and his team sought to take a belt which was surprisingly won by Rosales back in April versus Japanese star Daigo Higa.
The Nicaraguan, however, was too big and strong for Barnes, and while the finishing shot would have ended most flyweights, the pattern of the fight was not spelling good news for the Cliftonville 31-year-old.
Barnes will attempt to rebuild and claim a title in a division which is currently in flux – and Frampton believes he is more than capable of doing so.
‘The Jackal’ was disappointed to see his close friend defeated and admitted afterwards that “I’m gutted for him. I really believed he was going to win and I was getting reports back after each round saying he was winning the fight, he was doing well.”
“He was crunched with an almighty bodyshot. I went to see him and he said it was a crippling bodyshot and that was it.”
Predicting future success for the double Olympic bronze medallist, Frampton noted how “Paddy dared to be great, he went and he fought for a world title in his sixth fight against a very good fighter – and he can come again.”
“I know he’ll be disappointed and I’m disappointed for him but Paddy Barnes can come back and win a world title.”
“He’s only six fights in, he still has a lot more to give. He was winning the fight up until that happened.”