Issue | Premium | Reports | Oct 14 2019

Paddy Barnes might have come to the end of his career

Jay Harris too big and strong for gutsy Paddy Barnes. Johnny Stapleton reports from Belfast
Paddy Barnes
Action Images/Reuters/Lee Smith
Belfast • October 11

JAY HARRIS may just have retired Irish fight icon Paddy Barnes. The Welsh fighter produced a brilliant display en route to stopping the popular 32-year-old in the Ulster Hall.

The Swansea native was too big, too strong, and possibly too fresh for the double Olympic bronze medal winner and came out on top of an quick-fire fire-fight as a result. The clash was advertised as something of a short-cut to a second world title shot for the former amateur standout (the 10-rounder was for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental flyweight belt). However, what was an obvious gamble would not pay off for Barnes.
The size difference in Harris’s favour was apparent from the opening bell, and while Barnes did start sharply he was buzzed near the end of the first round. The template for the fight was set.

The former European amateur and Commonwealth gold winner was full of heart, guts and industry in a crowd-pleasing affair, but the well supported visiting fighter just had that bit too much. That was personified in an all action third when “The Leprechaun” opened a cut over the eye of Harris, but was dropped by a body shot as the pair exchanged.
The Ulsterman rose and managed to grit it out to the bell but the end would come the following round. Another body shot put the brave Barnes down and he would be counted out by referee Phil Edwards after 2-14. There were wild celebrations from the Swansea faithful and the European and Commonwealth champion’s post-fight joy reflected how much of a scalp he felt he had taken.