Paddy Barnes believes champ Cristofer Rosales will wilt under Windsor pressure


A step up from ‘shitholes’ to a stadium will prove massively “daunting” for Cristofer Rosales this weekend claims Paddy Barnes [5(1)-0]. 

The Cliftonville fighter challenges the Nicaraguan for his WBC flyweight strap on the massive BT Sport-broadcast show set for Belfast and Windsor Park this weekend. 

The clash provides Barnes with the chance to make history by becoming the quickest ever Irish fighter to claim a world title and will play out in front of a massive home crowd.

However, ‘The Leprechaun’ is adamant he isn’t feeling any pressure. In fact, he believes all the pressure is on the champion and believes Rosales will get the Windsor wobbles.

While the Central American is an undoubted road warrior, having won the title with a shock defeat of Daigo Higa in Japan along with previous away trips which saw him defeat EU champion Mohammed Obbadi in Italy and lose to Andrew Selby and Kal Yafai in Britain, Barnes believes that a passionate Windsor Park will be unlike anything he’s ever experienced before.

“I don’t feel the pressure because he’s the champion. I believe in my own ability, and me at my best will beat anybody in the world,” Barnes told World Boxing News.

“I’ve fought all over the world in massive arenas. He hasn’t fought in massive arenas all around the world – he’s fought in shitholes in Managua, so I think it’s a bit daunting for him, not me.”

Barnes, who has been pushing for a world title from the day he turned over, is typically confident.

While eight years older than his opponent, the 31-year-old is up against a more experienced pro campaigner.

Rosales [27(18)-3(0)] comes into the fight on the back of life changing win over an admittedly weight-drained Higa, but Barnes feels he is the better of the two fighters and will make Irish boxing history as a result.

“He does all the fundamentals very, very good and obviously, he’s a relentless fighter coming forward, who’s very, very tough.”

“I just feel he does everything the same, and I hope I’m right, that he’s a bit slow. I think I’ll be able to capitalise on that as I just think I’m faster than him and think I’ve fought faster boxers than in the past,” added the double Olympic bronze medallist.

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