‘What’s the point?’ Paddy Barnes not willing to fight on if he can’t compete – Belfast favourite hints at retirement

The fight may finally be over for brave battler Paddy Barnes.

The Belfast favourite suffered stoppage defeat for the second time in his career after a highly entertaining four rounds at the Ulster Hall on Friday night.

The double Olympic bronze medal winner was out sized, out punched and possibly out classed by Welsh fighter Jay Harris on the top of an #MTKFightNight.

The 32-year-old fought bravely and played his part in an entertaining clash, but the Swansea fighter would send him down twice enroute to stopping him after a bloody clash at the atmospheric hall.

It’s the second time Barnes has been stopped to the body – the first came in world title action against first stopped by Cristofer Rosales at Windsor Park in summer 2018 – and speaking after he suggested if his body was no longer compatible with elite level action it may be time to retire.

“There is no point in going on if you are got to lose at European level and if your body is failing you like this,” he told the BBC’s Thomas Kane.

“I can’t take the body shots in the pro game so what’s the point? I’m 32, I’m quite old in the pro game,” he adds with the honesty he is renowned for.

Two of ‘The Leprechaun’s’ defeats have come against fighters who hold world and European honours – the other came up at super bantamweight – and have come relatively early in his career.

To even have faced such opposition so soon is rare in professional boxing and there are some who suggest he should have paced his pro progress.

However, Barnes disagrees. He had dreams of becoming the fastest Irish fighter to a world title, went for it, came up short, but wouldn’t change a thing.

“I’ve been fast-tracked,” he adds. “People look at my record and see six (wins) and three (defeats) but in those nine fights, I’ve fought for four titles. No-one has ever done that from here.

“I’ve been successful in the sense that I have done so much in such a short career.

“I don’t regret anything. People say I got my world title shot too fast. I did. So what? I got it, I tried, I failed. There’s no shame in failing.”

Barnes had threatened to retire post his second career defeat to Oscar Mojica back on St Patrick’s Day, but changed his mind when the dust settled.

He sold a light flyweight world title dream, but couldn’t turn down the chance to fight a European and Commonwealth champion in Harris. It was a risk with big rewards, but drastic repercussions, as Barnes revealed it was a make or break encother.

Now having lost it’s most likely the fighter with a decorated and storied career will hang them up.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com