Paddy Barnes is championing the prospect of several Belfast boxing heroes featuring at the Manchester Arena on Frank Warren’s bumper Christmas show.
Olympic legend Barnes, Irish light-heavyweight king Steven Ward, former world amateur champion Michael Conlan and headliner Carl Frampton all star on the December 22 bill – live on BT Sport Box Office – as Frampton bids to relieve Josh Warrington of the IBF world featherweight title.
With Belfast boxing in the midst of an all-time high, Barnes is looking forward to plenty of supporters making the journey across the water.
Barnes said: “It’s crazy to have so many Belfast boxers on the card. I saw Warrington tweet that the fight should have been in Belfast because there are so many of us on it. We’ll certainly be bringing plenty of support.
“I was best man at Carl’s wedding and we’re very good friends. In terms of him as a leading light for Irish boxing, we’re so lucky to have the likes of Carl. He sells out massive arenas, brings TV coverage and brings it all back to Belfast.
“If you’re a boxer from Belfast, Carl Frampton is someone you’d aspire to be. If you can do a fraction of what he’s done in his career with winning all those world titles, you’ll have done well.
“Frampton and Conlan are the godfathers to my kids so to be fighting alongside them on the card is special on a personal level for me.”
Also on a stacked card, MTK Global team-mates JJ Metcalf and Liam Williams square off for Metcalf’s WBC light-middleweight ranking title, with other team members Sam Maxwell, Jack Massey and Alex Dickinson all looking to shine.