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Paddy Gonzalez Barnes set for tactical title fight with champ Cristofer Rosales

Saturday night will see Cristofer Rosales defend his world title in Belfast against Paddy Gonzalez.

That’s what Belfast’s Paddy Barnes [5(1)-0] has christened himself ahead of their WBC flyweight title clash at Windsor Park.

Fighting a younger, bigger, and physically stronger opponent, Barnes will need the perfect gameplan if he is to claim Ireland’s second world title in three days following TJ Doheny’s sensational IBF super bantamweight win today.

However, Barnes feels his Nicaraguan foe is doing him a favour after a revelation at today’s final press conference at Windsor Park.

23-year-old Rosales [27(18)-3(0)] claimed that he will allow Barnes dictate the pace of the contest which opens the BT Sport broadcast on Saturday

The Central American, speaking through a translator, described how “I’m used to fighting away, I will have no bother. It’s only me and Paddy in the ring, that’s it, so I’m coming here to retain my title.”

“I know enough about Barnes. I know it’ll be enough to win on Saturday. I’m well prepared to seal victory and take this belt home.”

“I want Paddy to dictate the pace, he will wear himself out, and then I will catch him.”

Barnes, never one to miss an opportunity, retorted by saying that “well, if he lets me set the pace, it’ll be my fight. If I can dictate the pace, I control the distance and there’s no way I’ll let it slip up… so thanks, mate!”

After a few chuckles, Rosales warned that “the only thing to say is I don’t want you to go running about… like a wee chicken!”

Keeping things light, Barnes joked that “it’s funny you should say about me running about because my second name is Gonzalez… Speedy Gonzalez!”

The exchange was the highlight of the press conference, the second of the week following the Tyson Fury v Francesco Pianeta event on Tuesday.

While it was largely light-hearted, It does, if Rosales is indeed telling the truth, provide an insight into how the fight may play out on Saturday night

Rosales has been billed as the relentless pressure fighter that won’t give Barnes a second to breath but today’s comments suggest a more tactical affair and one which could suit 31-year-old Barnes who has been past six rounds just once and has never gone twelve.


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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