Paddy Barnes will walk out to challenge Cristofer Rosales for the WBC world flyweight title at Windsor Park on Saturday for what will be a deafening and, according to ‘The Leprechaun’ “defining”, occasion.
The 31-year-old (5-0-KO1) has his big chance to add professional glory to his famous list of amateur achievements and believes he’s at the top of his game to take on Nicaragua’s Rosales (27-3-KO18).
Barnes said: “I’ve approached this differently. I’ve really dedicated myself on nutrition. Making the weight has been easier. It’s still hard but it’s easier than it was because I’ve been smarter about what I eat.
“My whole attitude towards sport has changed. I’ve two kids now so I need to provided for my family. Plus, I want to better my own career.
“Right now, this fight is my sixth fight and I’ve a chance of creating history.
“I always thought my style was more suited to the professional game but turning over has been tough for me because nobody wanted to sign me. Nobody knew who I was.
“Thankfully, MTK Global signed me and after five fights, I’m fighting for a WBC world title.
“Yes, I’ve had success as an amateur at the Olympic Games and whatever but this will define me as a boxer. It defines my career.”
Another Belfast hero on the card on the night is Carl Frampton, who clashes with Luke Jackson while lineal heavyweight king Tyson Fury faces Francesco Pianeta and a whole host of emerging stars look to steal the headlines on the undercard.