EXCLUSIVE: Belfast’s Barnes talks Rosales WBC title clash, predicts easy work for Frampton and Fury

Daniel Smith 13/08/2018

Frank Warren

Paddy Barnes (5-0-0) heeds the rapacious world title pangs while licking his lips at the succulent prospect of challenging the WBC world flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales (27-3-0), in what is anticipated to be a rapid-paced, dynamite title clash at Belfast’s Windsor Park, Saturday, August 18. 

The two-time Olympic bronze medalist spoke exclusively to World Boxing News regarding his forthcoming fight with the 23-year-old, Nicaraguan WBC champion and how training camp has traversed, alongside additional fight preparations such as the importance of a nutritious diet, the trials of making weight and aspirations of cementing his legacy as the new WBC world flyweight champion.

“I’ve enjoyed camp and I’ve trained really, really hard like I always do. I’ve been working with a guy from Belfast called Stephen Floyd, who’s helped me greatly with nutrition, so hopefully making weight next week will be a bit easier. But, I’m just eager to get in there now and fight. I’ve been training for this since January because I thought it was going to be sooner. But I’m excited and looking forward to it,” Barnes outlined to WBN.

In comparison to his own boxing intellect and capabilities within the square circle, and whether he detects flaws or apertures in his opponent’s armour that he’s able to expose and exploit, the Irishman added: “He (Rosales) does all the fundamentals very, very good and obviously, he’s a relentless fighter coming forward, who’s very, very tough.

“I just feel he does everything the same (and I hope I’m right) that he’s a bit slow. I think I’ll be able to capitalise on that as I just think I’m faster than him and think I’ve fought faster boxers than in the past.”

After spectacularly defeating an extremely seasoned Eliecer Quezada in, 2017 and claiming the WBO Inter-Continental title by deploying a lethal body shot that creased the Nicaraguan contender into a sixth-round TKO; Paddy Barnes has advanced to the next phase of his career and is challenging for a prestigious title after just five professional fights under his belt.

Barnes endorsed his ferocious ambitions and beliefs of emerging victorious against Cristofer Rosales while dismissing any pre-fight nerves or pressures with competing at the highest level in front of a vast home crowd.

“The WBC is the best and most prestigious title. I’m relaxed as it is – I’ve not really worried about it as a world title fight, so there are no nerves.

“I don’t feel the pressure because he’s the champion. I believe in my own ability, and me at my best will beat anybody in the world.

“I’ve fought all over the world in massive arenas. He hasn’t fought in massive arenas all around the world – he’s fought in s**tholes in Managua, so I think it’s a bit daunting for him, not me.”

And finally: the hardboiled Irishman provided predictions ahead of his clash with Cristofer “El Latigo” Rosales; shared his thoughts on Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury (26-0-0) vs. Francesco Pianeta (35-4-1) and fellow countryman, Carl Frampton’s (25-1-0) battle with Australia’s unbeaten Luke Jackson (16-0-0) and what the outcome of those fights will be.

“I wish I was Mystic Meg and predict myself to win in the first round. But the fact is, it’s a very, very hard fight which I’ve not looked passed or taken my eye off the ball, once. I can’t say if it’s points or knockout. I’m just expecting a tough fight with me being victorious. A wins a win – I Just want to get the title from Rosales.

“Pianeta and Jackson? I think they’re two sandwiches for the boys!”

Paddy Barnes vs. Christofer Rosales will feature on the undercard at Windsor Park, August 18, televised live on BT Sport. The main event will see Carl Frampton defend his WBO interim featherweight belt against Luke Jackson while Tyson Fury takes on Francesca Pianeta as part of his comeback.

A cracking night of boxing should be on the cards.

Daniel Smith is a contributor to World Boxing News. Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielS11645001