Two-time Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes was unlucky to be edged out on a split decision
to Mohamed Flissi in Algiers, Algeria in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) last night.
Barnes was making his WSB debut for Italia Thunder against the Algeria Desert Hawks in the final match – which the Italian side won 3-2 to finish on top of Group A
– of the group stages.
Barnes, a seven-time Irish Elite champion, actually won the last three frames of the five rounder.
Flissi, boxing well off the backfoot, claimed the first two stanzas to command a 20-18 advantage, but Barnes impressed two of the three judges to take the third on a split and clearly won the fourth 10-9 across the board against his back-pedalling opponent. He also won the fifth on a split.
But Flissi, who was sporadically replying to Barnes’ constant pursuit and aggression with flurries of hooks in the 3rd, 4th and and 5th frames, had did just about enough, according to the scoring, in the opening two frames to claim victory.
The Algerian was also down twice in the fight. The first was a slip, although Barnes was hovering menacingly in the vicinity, but this second visit to the canvas was courtesy of a hook to the side of the head from the Holy Family BC man.
Barnes, diplomatic after his first WSB outing, left this message on his Twitter account.
”Lost close hard fight tonight on split decision, didn’t get going 1st 2 rounds and left it too late! Ah well onto the next one!”
Italia Thunder are now through to the quarter-finals. They’ll face the Baku Fires of Azerbaijan in the last-eight.
Michael Conlan’s and David Oliver Joyce’s German Eagles will meet the Astana Arlans of Kazakhstan in the quarter-finals. Quarter-finals ties will be decided on a home and away basis.
WSB Q/Finals (First legs – March 28th/29th. Second legs – April 4th/5th)
Germany Eagles v Astana Arlans
USA Knockouts v Cuba Domanderos
Baku Fires v D&G Italia Thunder
Russia Boxing Team v Ukraine Otamans