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Paddy Barnes will drop a weight to become 'beast in the ring' and reignite world title bid

Paddy Barnes
Paddy Barnes

By David Kelly in the Sunday Life

Defiant Paddy Barnes says he is still aiming for world title glory despite a painful defeat in New York - but has revealed it will now be at light-flyweight.

The gritty Belfast man made his name as a top class international amateur at light-fly before turning professional and feeling that his natural progression was to flyweight, losing a world title shot last summer.

Then came that brutal encounter at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick's night when he ended up in hospital after six rounds with American Oscar Mojica who looked like a lightweight in comparison to the two-time Olympic bronze medallist.

Barnes, who now admits that it was "a crazy match-up", has revealed the full extent of the pain and agony he went through to make it to the end of the six rounds - and still insists he would have made the same decision to go through with the bout given the circumstances.

"The guy broke my nose with the first punch he landed but apart from that he also broke my orbital bone. There was so much blood I could hardly see at times and every time he hit me on the nose it was like being hit by a sledgehammer - the pain was awful and of course the blood was flying everywhere," said Barnes.

"Losing the world title fight to Cristofer Rosales was tough and that body shot took everything away from me but this pain was worse. It got to the point when it felt like there was a lump going into my eye, that was the sensation I was feeling.

"The funny thing is that when he caught me and the nose went, at that point I didn't feel the pain, I think the fact I was stunned by it meant I didn't focus on the pain - but I felt it in the fight from then on.

"Sitting in between the rounds I could feel the blood flushing down the back of my throat and of course I was struggling to breathe through my nose which I do at the best of times because of an operation I had as a kid that went wrong so it wasn't a good combination!

"I do think if I hadn't had the nose broken I would have won the fight even though the size difference was far too much. It was a crazy match-up but I have to admit that if I was offered it again I'd take it because I had the chance to box at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick's Day and live on ESPN and those opportunities don't come along too often. Ultimately, it was my decision and I took it at bantamweight because I felt I didn't want to work that hard to get close to the flyweight limit unless a title was at stake."

Now, Barnes has revaluated his career and as he prepares for another five months on the sidelines, the 32-year-old is adamant that he will make some significant changes.

"I've decided to work with a new nutritionist to allow myself to box at light-flyweight - then I will be the beast in the ring. That's the way it was when I was an amateur," added Barnes.

"I want to stay really active so I am not going up too much in weight in between fights and when the big fights come I will be ready to cut weight and fight for world titles.

"If I didn't think that I could fight for a world title again and be a world champion I'd pack it in but I know I can do it."

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