WSB return for reigning champion Paddy Barnes

Double Olympic bronze medalist and Rio 2016 gold medal favourite Paddy Barnes was signed up by the Poland Hussars in the World Series of Boxing foreign boxers draft in Lausanne, Switzerland today.

The outspoken Belfast man last week told of his frustration with his lack of suitors for this year’s tournament, however the Hussars have seemingly responded to his calls and have snapped up the 28 year old.

London 2012 Olympian Darren O’Neill, Rio 2016 hopeful Steven Donnelly and. Tipperary big man Dean Gardiner were also selected.

O’Neill was selected by the Venezuela Caciques and Gardiner by the Puerto Rico Hurricanes.

Donnelly joins Barnes with the Polish side, who he recorded five wins for last season.

As he participated in last year’s competition, Gardiner is eligible for the additional APB-WSB crossover qualifying event in Sofia in May. The same can be said of Donnelly, however the Ballymena welterweight will hope to have his Olympic place confirmed this Friday.

The new WSB season begins in January.

Irish WSB Foreign Boxers Draft

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Puerto Rico Hurricanes)
91kg Darren O’Neill (Venezuela Caciques)
69kg Steven Donnelly (Hussars Poland)
49kg Paddy Barnes (Hussars Poland)

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: