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Demons destroyed – Paddy Barnes can look forward after Feile win

Paddy Barnes [6(1)-2(1)] admits his career was on the line on the Top Rank bill at Féile an Phobail on Saturday night and claims he felt the pressure accordingly.

The popular Belfast fighter went into the clash on the back of two defeats.

His first career lose came at the hands of Cristofer Rosales in a WBC world title fight Windsor Park, as he attempted to defeat Katie Taylor to become the fastest Irish fighter to a world title.

A high enough profile return on the undercard of Michael Conlan’s annual St Patrick’s Day Madison Square Garden visit didn’t go as planned either.

Barnes showed typical bravery after breaking his nose in the first minute of the clash, but eventually lost to the gamer Oscar Mojica in New York.

That made Saturday’s Falls Park clash a must-win for ‘The Leprechaun’, indeed he claims they are all must-win from here on out.

With so much at stake he admits there was pressure despite being pitted against, Joel Sanchez, a fighter he shouldn’t ever be second best against.

Speaking after the points win, Barnes was delighted to have put the defeats behind him and with his return to winning ways.

“That did my form good. There was a lot at stake there. I can press on now I got that out of the way. There were some demons there after the last two fights,” he said.

“I did feel the pressure a bit going in because another defeat and that’s it really. I am over [if I lose again].”

barnes wins

Buoyed on by the fact the 32-year-old had lost his last two and further motivated by the fact victory would have changed his career massively the visiting fighter came out firing early on.

Barnes expected as much, was even happy that proved the case and claims he was never flustered.

“It was a tough fight and something I really really needed,” he adds.

“I had a tight guard, I was stronger than him and he didn’t really punch hard so I just broke his heart and walked him down. He said there himself I threw too many punches.”

The plan now for one of the countries most famous amateur graduates is to continue to work his way down to light flyweight.

He hopes to be back out in October and plans to reach the 49kg flyweight limit for March of next year – which suggests he may be hoping to secure a world title shot for Conlan’s next New York visit.

“Next year is the target. I started camp at 64kgs, this fight I weighed 52kgs, next fight probably similar and I’m aiming for next March for light flyweight.”



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 sports for a living for over 20 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