Paddy Barnes to fight European Champion in Belfast


Paddy Barnes [6(1)-2(1)] will jump back in at the top level in his next outing.

It has been announced tonight that the Belfast fighter will face European flyweight champion Jay Harris [16(8)-0] in the headline fight of a big card at the Ulster Hall in Belfast on Friday October 11th.

The fight will be streamed live on YouTube channel iFL TV and in America on ESPN+.

It is understood that the European title will not be on the line due to Barnes’s recent holding of the lightly-regarded WBO European ranknigs belt. Harris had previously been in negotiations with Italy’s Mohammed Obbadi and was also listed to face Andrew Selby for the British title.

Regardless of belts, it’s a big fight for Barnes versus his stablemate and IBF #6, WBO #11, WBC #12, and WBA #14.

The triple Olympian had jumped to world level last year where he was stopped by Cristofer Rosales in a challenge for the WBC flyweight title before a shock loss to Oscar Mojica in New York in March.

After this defeat to Mojica, Barnes committed to dropping to light flyweight and building slowly but he has seemingly been handed an opportunity here that he was unable to refuse.

The 32-year-old Cliftonville puncher got back to winning ways at the start of the month on the big Féile an Phobail show where he defeated Nicaraguan away fighter Joel Sanchez.

Previously a Commonwealth champion, Welshman Harris picked up the biggest win of his career back in June where he defeated recent world title challenger Angel Moreno to win the European flyweight title.

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29 later this month, Harris will perhaps be seen as a favourite for this contest due to his pro pedigree but Barnes will be backing himself for a breakthrough night in front of his home fans.

Undercard details for the bill in Belfast will be confirmed in due course.

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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