Monday 24 April 2017

Uplifting win for Barnes as opponent faces fine

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

Bernard O'Neill

Bulgaria's Stefan Slavchev could have some of his purse deducted for his conduct against debutant Paddy Barnes in Belfast on Saturday night.

Barnes got his pro career off to an 'uplifting' start after a bizarre victory over the Sofia native at the Titanic Centre.

The three-time Irish Olympian won after Slavchev was disqualified in the fourth round for lifting the Belfast fly over his shoulder and walking across the ring.

Barnes had won the opening three rounds, when ref Hugh Russell Jnr, son of Hugh Russell, like Barnes an Irish Olympic bronze medallist, showed Slavchev boxing's red card.

"He was acting the idiot and he got disqualified. He was just running away. He was hard to pin down and catch with shots. What a welcome to the world of professional boxing," said Barnes.

"You didn't see the best me. I'm glad to get it over with. I'd like to thank the fans. They were unbelievable."

Barnes and Slavchev met on the Jamie Conlan versus David Koos undercard, unbeaten Conlan, brother of Olympian Michael, posting an impressive win to improve to 18 victories. The Belfast super-fly took all eight rounds to earn a 80-72 decision.

"One or two times I felt his body almost go. It's another box ticked and job done. On to the next one. I know the next fight will be in late February or early March," said Conlan. "Who it is or what it is for is outside my control."

Former Irish Elite champions Con Sheehan, Philip Sutcliffe and Declan Geraghty as well as Stephen Ormond, Steven Ward, Tyrone McKenna, Gary Sweeney, James Tennyson and Sean Turner also won in Belfast.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Eric Donovan stopped Poland's Krzysztof Rogowski in the second round at the National Stadium in Dublin.

Irish Independent

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