Wednesday 28 June 2017

Paddy Barnes won first professional fight while newborn and fiancée were in hospital

Two-time Olympic medallist Barnes (29) beat rival Stefan Slachev in bizarre circumstances at the Titanic Centre bout after his opponent was disqualified in the fourth round for lifting him. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Two-time Olympic medallist Barnes (29) beat rival Stefan Slachev in bizarre circumstances at the Titanic Centre bout after his opponent was disqualified in the fourth round for lifting him. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Allan Preston

Boxer Paddy Barnes has said he is delighted to have survived his "terrible debut" into professional boxing on Saturday night, having to fight while his fiancée and new baby daughter were confined to hospital.

Two-time Olympic medallist Barnes (29) beat rival Stefan Slachev in bizarre circumstances at the Titanic Centre bout after his opponent was disqualified in the fourth round for lifting him.

Paddy said his professional debut had followed one of the most stressful weeks of his life after his fiancée Mari remained in hospital with an infection after giving birth to their second daughter Fianna.

Watch: Bizarre moment Paddy Barnes' opponent is disqualified for hoisting Irishman on his shoulders

The Belfast fighter said he had not been able to see them all week, due to the risk of catching an infection himself.

However, there seemed to be signs of improvement by Saturday morning when Paddy posted a picture of him proudly holding his new baby girl with Mari saying: "Trip to the hospital this morning to see my girls before I get the show on the road tonight."

Paddy Barnes is lifted onto the shoulders of Stefan Slavchev, resulting in the stoppage of their flyweight bout. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Paddy Barnes is lifted onto the shoulders of Stefan Slavchev, resulting in the stoppage of their flyweight bout. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Posting on Twitter after his fight, he said: "Terrible debut last night, welcomed to the pros the hard way, easy win but couldn't perform against a clown. Support was amazing."

In the build-up to the fight Barnes found himself only able to train once a day while caring for his oldest daughter Éireann.

"I haven't been able to prepare anywhere near the way I have wanted," he said last week.

"I haven't been able to go near them in case I got the infection that Mari has. Making my debut in Belfast is special but it just doesn't feel the same because I am too concerned about Mari."

Despite the wobbly start to his professional career, Barnes is determined to win a European title within five fights.

Irish Independent

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport