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.’”