Olympic hero Paddy Barnes will continue to target world titles and has welcomed the support shown to him in the wake of his sole professional defeat.
‘The Leprachaun’ lost out to WBC world flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales at Windsor Park in August but remains determined to climb to the top of the paid ranks.
Barnes said: “Obviously, it was devastating to lose. The fight was just starting to heat up and everyone would’ve have enjoyed it because it’d have been even better in the middle and late rounds.
“I’m still gutted about losing but it was for the best belt in boxing. It’ll be hard to get that chance again so for now my focus is on different belts.
“Walking about Belfast, people will stop me in the street and tell me to get back in there. A lot of people want me to get back in as soon as possible and the fact my fans are supporting me means a lot.
“It really gives you a positive boost. People will sometimes ask if it annoys me being asked to stop for pictures but it doesn’t – because nobody could stop you and know who you are. Instead, people recognise my achievements and who I am. That’s my way of giving back.
“This city is 100% the fight capital of Europe now. There’s a lot of good talent in such a small city. There’s Carl Frampton and Ryan Burnett already world champions. James Tennyson is fighting for one and myself and Jamie Conlan have too. Boxing is in a good place here.”
Unbeaten super-middleweights Padraig McCrory and Sean McGlinchey have sensationally agreed to fight each other in Belfast tonight.
With the opponents for McCrory (4-0-KO2) and McGlinchey (2-0) withdrawing at short notice, a late-night deal was struck for the pair to risk their flawless records live on BoxNation.
McCrory has built up a solid fanbase over the course of his four fights and has already fought twice at The SSE Arena; most recently on the undercard of Michael Conlan’s homecoming card back in June.
McGlinchey was a standout amateur and went to the Commonwealth Games with the likes of Paddy Barnes before ‘Mummy’s Bhoy’ turned professional last year.
The additional bout complements an already-stacked top half of the card at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, where the unbeaten Tyrone McCullagh headlines the bill in challenging Josh Kennedy for the WBO European super-bantamweight title.
Elsewhere on the MTK Global show, Paddy Gallagher faces Jay Byrne for the BUI Celtic super-welterweight title, Marco McCullough takes on Ruddy Encarnacion for an IBO world ranking and local light-heavyweight Steven Ward steps in against Mexican champion Rolando Paredes.
There are also slots for world-ranked featherweight Nathaniel May, former European middleweight king Conrad Cummings and rising stars Gary Cully, Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly.
MTK Global is proud to confirm the signing of Iranian-born cruiserweight Mohammadali Bayat Farid as he embarks on a world title hunt.
The 29-year-old Farid (12-1-1-KO12) fights out of Dubai and having stopped every single one of his victims to date, feels ready to graduate to fighting the big names of the division under his new management.
Farid said: “I’m here to take on the best. I watched the World Boxing Super Series and I’m ready to take on the cruiserweights who fought in it.
“I’m on a great run of stoppage victories and I am an explosive puncher. I have big dreams I want to achieve in this sport and signing with MTK Global shows my ambition.
“It was an easy decision to sign with MTK Global – its reputation is growing all the time and I know they can secure me the opportunities I need to show the world how good I am.
“I only started boxing to lose weight originally but now here I am ready to take on the world. The WBC belt is the one I want the most. Bring on the challenges.”
MTK Global International Operations Director Paul Gibson added: “We’re pleased to add a fighter of Mohammadali’s undoubted class and potential to our roster.
“He’s currently on a brutal streak of stoppages but what’s most exciting is that there’s still so much more to come and he’s improving with every fight.
“The cruiserweight division is obviously dominated by Oleksandr Usyk at the moment but Mohammadali will move towards a shot at whoever is holding those world titles. He’s an exciting fighter to watch.”