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Next stop world title – Harris believes Paddy Barnes is the perfect world title stepping stone


Jay Harris [16(8)-0] plans to use Paddy Barnes as a stepping stone to a world title shot.

The Welsh man has worked his way impressively to Commonwealth and European title success – and he has now set his sights on world honours.

The 29-year-old believes the popular Irish Olympian could prove the final hurdle toward a world title tilt and feels adding the known name and recent world title challenger to his list of victims will propel him toward a shot a flyweight world title.

Speaking ahead of their October 11 Ulster Hall #MTKFightNight Harris said:

“Beating Paddy will be massive name on my record and should land me that world title shot I’ve always wanted.

“The flyweight division is on fire at the moment but I rate myself highly within that. I believe I’m up there with the best of them.”

Belfast’s Barnes is up there with Harris’ toughest fight to date and despite having European title experience it’s the ESPN+ broadcast bill topper is certainly the highest profile fight of the Swansea natives career.

However, he is confident he can deal with both the occasion and what ‘The Leprechaun’ will bring to the ring.

“This is a big, big fight but I’ll approach it like any other fight. I just have to keep focused on the job at hand and I’m confident that I’ll come away with the win on the night.”

While he is predicting victory and Harris echoed Barnes’ respectful approach.

The Welsh fighter has sparred the two Olympic bronze medal winner and has no personal issues with the a man he admires both in and out of the ring.

“I like Paddy and I have a lot of respect for him. I hope he has the same for me. We’ve sparred in the past and it’s been great. We get on so there’s no bad blood between us.”

Alongside Barnes vs. Harris on the bill is another step up for Belfast prospect Sean McComb in Emiliano Dominguez, while IBF European champion Marco McCullough defends against Viorel Simion. A busy undercard includes Lewis Crocker, Gary Cully, Conrad Cummings, Callum Bradley, Sean Duffy, Pierce O’Leary and Ruari Dalton.


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