Paddy Barnes is more convinced than ever he will win a world title after coming up short against WBC world flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales at Windsor Park.
Most in the stadium had Barnes edging ahead of his visitor on points before a vicious body shot ended the fight in the fourth – leaving the Belfast hero devastated.
The support of his family and a ruthlessly humorous group of friends combined to drag him back into good spirits over the week that followed, and now Barnes has turned his mind back to getting over the line next time around.
Barnes said: “After the loss, an hour later I looked at the Whatsapp group chat and the boys were asking if it was too early to slag me about getting beat.
“I love the ‘craic’. Obviously I was devastated I lost but because I’m a happy person, it’s helped me getting over the defeat faster than I probably should have.
“It was warming up to be a good fight and then unfortunately that happened in the fourth round and ended the fight.
“I’ve a lot more fans than before because there were a lot more people watching it. They saw the same kind of style and he caught me with a lucky or unlucky shot.
“I remember coming home from Windsor Park with the WBC representative and he said I was two rounds ahead – albeit the fight was only just starting and the pace wasn’t that high.
“Rosales could’ve caught me with that shot in the 12th round and it would’ve been the same thing but I do feel I’m at that level. Technically I was better. He was tough. People say I can’t punch but I can punch and he just looked at me.
“I’m definitely world level. I want another world title shot in the near future. If I could fight for a world title next, I’m all or nothing so I’d say: ‘Let’s go for it.’”
MTK Global confirms creation of MTK Clermiston in Edinburgh
MTK Global is proud to announce the creation of a new community boxing facility in Edinburgh – MTK Clermiston Boxing Club.
The club will be based at the Rannoch Centre in the west of the city and headed by Mike Webb – General Manager of The Gym Group Edinburgh City and a Strength & Conditioning coach for high class boxers such as Lewis Benson and John Thain.
Together with Edinburgh Council, MTK Global will provide funding and support as Webb and his team seek not only to coach boxing but also to tackle local social problems such as drug use, mental health and bullying through inclusion in sport.
Webb said: “I walked into Lochend Boxing Club 10 years ago and it helped shape me as an adult.
“The experiences created friendships for life and opened up worlds to me that I didn’t previously know existed. I can only imagine what I could have achieved as a child but facilities were not available.
“We hope MTK Clermiston Boxing Club can influence change in the local community and we can grow our project wider in the future. All our coaches will be qualified coaches or elite professional or amateur boxers.
“We’re going to create a safe environment which is accessible to all – somewhere children and adults alike can come and learn a skill, develop confidence and discipline while encouraging healthy living.”
MTK Global CEO Sandra Vaughan said: “We are over the moon to be setting up another stronghold in the hotbed of Scottish boxing and proud to be working with Mike and his team.
“The city of Edinburgh has produced some hugely successful boxers over the years and we want to be at the cutting edge when it comes to bringing through the stars of tomorrow.
“While we are always on the lookout for the most promising young talent, the club will be about more than that – a hub for the community to come together regardless of age or ability.”