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Paddy shows serious side with title ambition


By David Kelly

Paddy Barnes will this Saturday night seek to land the vacant WBO inter-continental flyweight title and take a further step towards a world title shot in 2018.

Barnes, who takes on Eliecer Quezada of Nicaragua at the SSE Arena, is determined to stay on the fast track to having a shot at the big prize and while the Belfast man is often seen as the joker of Irish boxing, he insists that when it comes to the ring nobody is more serious.

"I've booked into an apartment this week and then on fight night I'll stay at the Fitzwilliam Hotel. I haven't been home for three weeks leading up to the fight because when it comes to making weight and the preparation I need the right routine of sleep and training," said Barnes.

"It just wouldn't work because the kids would come in and wake me up and want to play, so I have to stay away. It shows you that although I enjoy a joke and messing about, when it comes to fighting I'm deadly serious because this is a tough business and I'd be embarrassed if I lost.

"The fear of failure drives me on as well as a need to win. It's not just the will to win, the desire to win, it's about needing to win where I'm concerned and there is a big difference between wanting to win and needing to win.

"I need to win because I want to give my family a good life - a comfortable life, pay off my mortgage and enjoy a good life after boxing and also I want to prove myself as a top professional fighter, to be a world champion," he said.

Barnes is currently ranked 14 by the World Boxing Organisation and he believes that victory on Saturday night will see him progress into the top 10.

"The last two weeks I had some very good eight round spars with three different guys. And they were all bantamweights. And they went very well so it was good. I can't wait for the fight and to be part of the whole show because it's going to be a special night with Carl fighting and Jamie Conlan boxing for a world title," he added.

"The last fight I had was a ticking over fight but this one I want to see take me into the WBO's top 10. That will take me into 2018 looking for a World title shot. That's a realistic plan if I'm in the top 10. I would love to be fighting for the title in the summer of 2018."

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