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.”