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Paddy Barnes thanks Belfast for backing ahead of ring return

Paddy Barnes [5(1)-1(1)] will be returning to the ring in the near future and the Belfast flyweight has paid tribute to his city following his first career defeat.

The Cliftonville 112lber was stopped in the fourth round at Windsor Park back in August when he made an early-career assault on WBC champion Cristofer Rosales.

The 31-year-old is still, naturally, disappointed with the defeat, which came on the undercard of Carl Frampton v Luke Jackson, but has been heartened by the support he has received since.

Looking back on the night, Barnes noted how “obviously, it was devastating to lose. The fight was just starting to heat up and everyone would’ve have enjoyed it because it’d have been even better in the middle and late rounds.”

“I’m still gutted about losing but it was for the best belt in boxing. It’ll be hard to get that chance again so for now my focus is on different belts.”

A return date has yet to be confirmed for Barnes.

A spot on the Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton undercard in Manchester Arena on December 22nd has been suggested although it may be next year before the amateur legend is back between the ropes.

The Glasgow-trained straight-talker is in Belfast currently and appreciates the support he has gotten from his city.

Barnes revealed how “walking about Belfast, people will stop me in the street and tell me to get back in there. A lot of people want me to get back in as soon as possible and the fact my fans are supporting me means a lot.”

“It really gives you a positive boost. People will sometimes ask if it annoys me being asked to stop for pictures but it doesn’t – because nobody could stop you and know who you are. Instead, people recognise my achievements and who I am. That’s my way of giving back.”

“This city is 100% the fight capital of Europe now. There’s a lot of good talent in such a small city. There’s Carl Frampton and Ryan Burnett already world champions. James Tennyson is fighting for one and myself and Jamie Conlan have too.”

“Boxing is in a good place here.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie