Paddy Barnes to make U.S. debut in tricky comeback fight


Paddy Barnes [5(1)-1(1)] has had a dream fight date confirmed.

The Belfast flyweight has today been announced for the St Patrick’s Day Top Rank bill at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Headlining the Sunday March 17th bill, for the third year in a row, will be Barnes’s close friend Mick Conlan.

It will be almost seven months on since the 31-year-old’s last contest when he attempted to become the quickest Irish world champion in terms of number of fights. However, Barnes was stopped to the body in the fourth round at Windsor Park by Nicaraguan Cristofer Rosales – who has since lost the belt to English rival Charlie Edwards.

On the same night that Edwards took the green belt, Barnes was due to make his return versus Isaac Quaye. Frustratingly, the double Olympic bronze medallist’s swing bout on the Warrington-Frampton undercard in Manchester was shelved due to the card running long.

The Cliftonville man was in the Big Apple earlier this month where he took something of a tumble.

Now back in training in Glasgow with Tyrone McKenna, Sean McComb, and new addition Tyrone McCullagh, Barnes will be hoping to stay on his feet on his U.S. debut.

Barnes will face a tricky fight on his return, facing American Oscar Mojica [11(1)-5(0)-1] in a six-round contest.

The tough Texan operates around super flyweight and bantamweight and held 10-0 prospect Ruben Vega to a draw last time out and has previously defeated 10-0 prospect Johnny Determan. Never stopped, three of Mojica’s losses have come in rankings title fights versus unbeaten opposition.

Barnes previously fooled many into believing that he was on Mick Conlan’s debut card at the same venue back in 2017, with lots of media outlets and even BoxRec listing him as appearing but no fight would take place.

In the headline bout this year, Falls feather Conlan takes on game Mexican Ruben Garcia Hernandez.

The ESPN+-broadcast card in six-and-a-half weeks’ time is co-headlined by a featherweight clash between Christopher Diaz and Jessie Magdaleno and also features a welterweight scrap between Luis Collazo and Samuel Vargas as well as appearances for former super bantam champ Jonathan Guzman, light welters Josue Vargas and John Bauza, lightweight Joseph Adorno, and Conlan rival Vladimir Nikitin.

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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