The flyweight world title challenger finally makes his return to the ring on Sunday March 17th and his comeback will also double as a U.S. debut.
Barnes has been confirmed for the undercard of close friend Mick Conlan’s big St Patrick’s Day show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden and it’s about time.
The double Olympic bronze medallist noted how “my name’s Paddy, my nickname’s ‘The Leprechaun’, and I’m fighting in New York on Paddy’s Day. Could it BE any more Irish?”
“I’m expecting the atmosphere to be amazing. There’ll be so many Irish fans there and we all know they bring a noise.”
Sharing a card with Conlan, his long-time room mate on the Irish amateur team, is special for Barnes.
The 31-year-old explained how “Mick and I have travelled the world together but this will be the first time we’ll have fought in America together. I boxed all over as an amateur but this will be the first time I’ve fought abroad as a professional and I can’t wait.”
“I’m extremely excited to be fighting at such an iconic venue – it’s every boxer’s dream and the fact it’s on St Patrick’s Day with Mick on the card makes it all the better.”
Barnes makes his return from his world title defeat to Cristofer Rosales in August – having seen a fight in December on the Warrington-Frampton bill fall through – and the Cliftonville man has been handed what looks like a tricky test.
The amateur legend is down to face tough Texan Oscar Mojica [11(1)-5(0)] – who has upset previous – over six rounds.
Barnes, though, is promising a performance that will endear him to the U.S. audience watching the Top Rank card on ESPN+
‘The Leprechaun’ described how “American fans are about to see a small man get into the ring and throw punches like mad. I think they’re going to enjoy it.”