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Paddy Barnes can come back stronger after Windsor defeat, says Frampton


Toe to toe: Cristofer Rosales battles with Paddy Barnes at Windsor Park
Toe to toe: Cristofer Rosales battles with Paddy Barnes at Windsor Park

Close friend Carl Frampton is backing Paddy Barnes to return a stronger fighter despite his brutal defeat at the hands of WBC World flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales at Windsor Park.

Barnes and Rosales were engaging in an entertaining, close quarter duel when the Belfast man collapsed to the canvas right on the bell to end the fourth round. The lightning bolt of a right hand to the body took every ounce of fight away from Barnes who lay stricken, writhing in agony. The effects were lasting as it took a trip to hospital before the 31-year-old was allowed to go home on Saturday night.

Proud warrior Barnes in his own words had “dared to be great” as he sought to lift he WBC World title in only his sixth professional fight but in the end it appeared he had simply asked for too much too soon in his career.

All his amateur success had given him hope of becoming the fastest Northern Ireland boxer to a world title and he had moments of success but at world level the need for being  battle hardened is paramount. Mind you, if Rosales manages to land that same blow on anyone else it would likely have a similar effect.

“I feel really gutted for Paddy. I really thought he could do it but he told me that the punch was just crippling,” Frampton said. “It was a big ask for him to take the title but he can come again, I’ve no doubt about that.”

Rosales had won the title with an upset win in Japan and he wasn’t about to let Barnes do the same to him. Even when under fire the 23-year-old from Nicaragua bore a sinister smile of contempt not out of place on a Marvels comic book villain.

The champion was determined to write his own script and tear up the fairytale of Barnes, who having made history on several occasions as an amateur was shooting for the stars as a professional.

With less than minute remaining in the opening round Barnes felt the champion’s power when a chopping right hand snapped back his head. The shock was still on his face as Rosales sought to press home his advantage but at the start of the second the Belfast man enjoyed success with his jab and a flashy combination in the third drew great appreciation from the crowd. The exchanges gradually became more heated and the fourth round both men sought to hammer home their best shots but sadly for Barnes the champion was able to detonate the punch of the night and end his dream.

At ringside his friend Jamie Conlan could clearly relate to what he was going through while creased up in agony as his own World super-flyweight title shot last November had ended after a barrage of body shots from Jerwin Ancajas.

 “It was his decision to wait for this world title. He was unlucky. Now, we’ll probably go back into the schedule of building him by fighting world level opponents and then building to a title shot,” he said.

“I think the IBF title is there for the taking. Moruti Mthalane wasn’t great the other week against Muham­mad Waseem so his 112 title is there for the taking. Paddy proved he wasn’t out of his depth, wasn’t blown away like I was against Ancajas, so he is there or thereabouts, he was just caught with a perfect shot. I know that feeling.

“One punch chang­es things, especially when you get caught in that sweet spot under the ribs. You can get up from a head shot, but not to the body.

“He’ll be back. He’s a determined wee man. He’ll chase his dream to be a world champion.”

Belfast Telegraph

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