Ireland’s Five Quickest World Champions


Records are for DJs – and for Paddy Barnes, it seems.

The pin-sized Belfast favourite holds an impressive unique amateur accomplishment being the only Irish boxer to win two Olympic medals and could set a pro record that would prove almost on impossible to beat on August 18th.

If victorious against WBC titlist Cristofer Rosales in Windsor Park the flyweight will become a world champion in just his sixth fight.

Indeed, ‘The Leprechaun’ will become the fastest Irish fighter to win a world strap if he beats the Nicaraguan on the undercard of Carl Frampton versus Luke Jackson.

Granted, flyweights reach world level quicker than most , but the record books show Barnes is close to a sensational achievement.

It certainly will be historic if Barnes wins and he will eclipse some famous Irish boxing names.

Check out the current top five below:

Katie Taylor – 7 fights
Amateur trailblazer Katie Taylor wasn’t long about setting pro records. Less than 12 months after turning over in November of 2016 the Bray native was crowned World champion.

Victory over Anahi Esther Sanchez, who now holds the WBA light welterweight world title, saw Taylor break a 131-year record to become the quickest Irish fighter to claim a world strap.

Taylor took the record from Jack McAuliffe, winning the WBA lightweight title in just her seventh pro fight – also becoming the first Irish lightweight world champion since McAuliffe.

After Sanchez failed to make weight, only the London 2012 Olympic Gold medal winner could win the strap at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The five-time amateur World gold medallist dropped her opponent to the body in the second round recorded a 99-90, 99-90, 99-90 points win to claim the title.

Within two fights and six months the Irish sporting legend unified claiming the IBF strap thanks to victory over Victoria Noelia Bustos in Brooklyn and aims to become undisputed in the near future.

Jack McAuliffe – 13 Fights
Katie Taylor may have beaten McAuliffe’s fastest Irish fighter to a world title record, but the manner in which he claimed the crown will never be beaten.

The Cork-born fighter, who emigrated to America when he was just six in 1871, became the lightweight world champion by stopping Harry Gilmore in round 28 of their 1887 fight which was held in a barn in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

One of only 15 world champions in the history of boxing to retire undefeated, McAuliffe became a world champion in just his 13 fights and feat that wasn’t beaten until Taylor came on the scene of late.

‘The Napoleon of the Ring’, McAuliffe was the world lightweight champion from 1886 to 1893 and was inducted into The Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995.

Dave Boy McAuley – 17 Fights
The Larne flyweight didn’t win a world title until his third attempt – following two epic losses to Fidel Bassa – but he still managed to win a major belt in just seventeen fights.

His title win saw him upset Duke McKenzie in London and McAuley would successfully defend the belt five times, including wins over future and former champions Jacob Baby Matlala and Dodie Boy Penalosa.

The all-action up-and-down fighter, who later moved into punditry, eventually lost his belt on a controversial decision in Spain to Rodolfo Blanco, whom he had previously defeated.

That loss came as McAuley was in talks for a super-fight with the legendary Michael Carbajal, which never materialised, and Dave Boy would never fight again.

Wayne McCullough – 17 Fights
‘The Pocket Rocket’ fittingly rocketed to world title success.

While the Barcelona Olympic silver medallist never eclipsed McAuliffe in terms the time it took to claim a strap  Wayne McCullough’s world title win remains historic and record breaking in its own right.

The much-loved and highly entertaining fighter became world champion in just his 17th fight when he went to Japan to defeat WBC bantamweight beltholder Yasuei Yakushiji via a split-scorecard back in 1995 – in a bout he won decisively.

The victory was the first- of its kind for an Irish or UK fighter in the Land of the Rising Sun.

In fact, the Shankill fighter remains the only Irish or British fighter to win a world title in Japan – although TJ Doheny will be hoping to change that in August.  

McCullough defended the belt twice in Ireland before moving up, then challenged for super bantamweight and featherweight honours six times throughout a famous career.

Ryan Burnett – 17 fights
Despite some troubles with medicals and a relative turbulent start, which included a year without a license Ryan Burnett managed to win a world title in the same number of fights as Wayne McCullough.

One of three active fighters on the list, became Ireland’s first bantamweight champion in 20 years and since Wayne McCullough when he defeated Lee Haskins to take the IBF crown at the SSE Odyssey Arena live on Sky Sports last Summer.

The Adam Booth trained fighter registered a dominant points win over the Bristol native to put his name among the Irish quickest and greats.

Burnett then followed in former sparring partner and friend Carl Frampton’s footsteps by unifying titles with a win over WBA titlist Zhanat Zhakiyanov, another former sparring partner.

The Matchroom star now has the chance to put himself in contention be known as Ireland’s greatest ever as he enters a talent packed World Boxing Super Series.

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