by Brian Donnellon
The highly anticipated debut of three-time olympian Paddy Barnes took place in The Titanic Exhibition Center on Saturday night. The fight ended under bizarre circumstances, as Barnes’s Bulgarian opponent Stefan Slavchev was disqualified in the fourth round, after picking Barnes up on his shoulder and fireman walking him around the ring.
Before the moment of madness from Slavchev, Barnes looked very comfortable and in control of who he claimed was a ‘journeyman’ after the fight on twitter. Slavchev (8,25,1) took to the duck and run tactic from the first round and was obviously happy to show up, lose, get his paycheck and go home. The disqualification clearly irritated Barnes, as he dubbed his debut as “terrible”.
His entrance to the ring was electric, as the fans erupted for their hometown hero. The Rio Disappointment was long forgotten about, as he walked to the ring as a cool and collected figure.
Barnes had a disrupted training camp with family issues in the build-up to the fight and he said he wasn’t on form, but still never looked in danger of an upset.
On a night of dominance by the home fighters, there were wins for Eric Donovan, Phil Sutcliffe, Tyrone McKenna, Marco McCullough and Jamie ‘The Mexican’ Conlon, who’s next fight will be a title eliminator, with the winner of that getting a world title fight in 2017. Barnes will be expecting to be throwing his name in the hat for a world title fight if 2017 goes to plan.