RISING Belfast talent Joe Fitzpatrick claimed the first title of his professional career at the Devenish Complex. Topping the Boxing Ireland Promotions Celtic Clash 9 bill, Fitzpatrick picked up the vacant Boxing Union of Ireland Celtic lightweight title via fifth-round stoppage after grizzled Galician Iago Barros retired on his stool following four bloody rounds in West Belfast.
Stepping up to eight for the first time, Fitzpatrick had an aggressive foe to deal with but the quick Divis southpaw had too much in all areas. Barros pushed and bent the rules plenty, having a point docked for a head butt in the fourth by referee Pádraig Ó Reachtagáin.
However, Fitzpatrick was well able to deal with the roughhousing and, despite a cut outside the left eye, he scored a stoppage after his constant barrage of straight stinging shots which eventually led to the visitor signalling no más at the midpoint.