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Pro World title would be a career highlight for Paddy Barnes

Paddy Barnes [5(1)-0] claims he would trade his amateur legacy and all his medals for World title success as a pro.

The Belfast fighter’s amateur stash includes bronze medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and 2014, 2010 European gold and 2008 EU silver – not to mention a season-leading display in the WSB.

That international success as well as his domestic domination and his ability to entertain both in and out of the ring have made the flyweight a legend of the sport. However, he would give all up if it guaranteed him victory over WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales at Windsor Park on Saturday August 18th, live on BT Sport.

Barnes could become the quickest ever Irish fighter to a World title with victory on the Frampton undercard but, rather than see a World title fight in just your sixth fight as a shot to nothing, ‘The Leprechaun’ is billing it as a career defining fight.

Rosales may be putting his title on the line, but Barnes seems to suggest it his legacy is at stake in what is the undeniable highlight of the Carl Frampton v Luke Jackson card.

“This is the night that defines my boxing career,” said Barnes.

“There were great achievements as an amateur including Olympic bronze medals, but that is only third place in the world which is great.”

“To be the best in the world at your weight, WBC world champion is definitely the one to win.”

“I did great as an amateur, and people will remember me for what I achieved but a world professional title is what I really want.””

“I ticked the boxes as an amateur and I want to do the same as a professional.

“I would swap everything I did as an amateur to win this fight.”

Unbeaten Barnes, 31, will only be having his sixth professional fight when he challenges Nicaraguan Rosales [27(18)-3(0)] in front of more than 20,000 fans.

The Nicaraguan is an unfashionable champion somewhat. Having lost to British fighters Kal Yafai and Andrew Selby, he was brought in as what looked to be a handy opponent for Japanese phenom Daigo Higa. However, the Asian had serious trouble making weight and was stripped after coming in two pounds heavy. Rosales would subsequently stop Higa, who looked to be suffering badly from the weight cut, in the ninth round.

A huge opportunity, no stone will be left unturned and Barnes has moved from the family home in Belfast for training camp under Danny Vaughan in both Glasgow and Dubai ahead of the biggest night of his fighting life.

He added that “even now I am away from home preparing, but it makes no difference. When I was an amateur my training camps were in Dublin.”

“I have been doing this since I was 16 years old. It is a bit harder now because I have two kids, but hopefully it will be worth it in the end.”


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Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years