Paddy Barnes gets world title dream on Carl Frampton Windsor Park undercard

Carl Frampton, Frank Warren, Luke Jackson, Paddy Barnes and Tyson Fury at Windsor Park on Monday. Promoter Frank Warren confirmed Luke Jackson as Carl Frampton's next opponent at Windsor on August 18, with a Paddy Barnes World Title fight and Tyson Fury on the undercard. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Andy Watters

AFTER only five professional fights, Paddy Barnes will take on Nicaraguan Cristofer Rosales for the WBC world flyweight title on the undercard of Carl Frampton versus Luke Jackson at Windsor Park on August 18.

Barnes predicts that his world title challenge will be “the fight of the night” on a bill that also includes unbeaten heavyweight Tyson Fury and at this stage that looks likely. At 23, Rosales is eight years younger than Barnes, but he is vastly more experienced at professional level and travels to Belfast with a 23-3 record. Standing 5”6.5’, Rosales is a big flyweight and he stopped defending champion Daigo Higa in the ninth round of their clash in Yokohama in April to take the title.

“He’s a bit taller than me and he’s relentless,” said Barnes, AKA ‘The Leprechaun’ at yesterday’s press conference at Windsor Park.

“He’ll come forward. He’s nothing special and he’s young but he’s hardened. For me it’ll be the fight of the night, we’ll be going to war.

“It’s a fight that really excites me and as a flyweight it’s very, very rare that you would get a world title shot at home. The Asians and South Americans have these belts sewn up but I’m privileged and thankful to the team for getting me this fight.

“I never thought I’d get to fight for a world title, I never thought I’d become a professional because I was so light I didn’t think any promoter would want me. I’ve done a lot as an amateur, I created history as a two-time Olympic medallist but this next fight will define my career – it will let people know who I really am.

“I’m extremely confident. I’m not taking anything away from Rosales, he’s an unbelievable fighter and it’s going to be a very hard fight.”

Early in his career, Barnes predicted that he would fight for a world title within six fights, but he admitted he never really believed it would happen.

“I said I would get a world title in six fights, but I was just saying that, I never thought that it would actually come to fruition,” he said.

“I’m just over the moon that this has happened and that it is signed and sealed and I’ll get to fight for, not just the world title, but the best world title – the WBC.”

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