Paddy Barnes last night declared he was retiring from boxing after a shock defeat at the hands of Oscar Mojica in Madison Square Garden last night.
Barnes, returning to the ring following his world flyweight title defeat last summer in Windsor Park, suffered a broken nose within the first 30 seconds in New York and was down from a body shot in the second before losing on a split decision after six tough rounds, 58-56, 58-56, 56-58.
“I don’t know how the judges had it close because I thought I lost every round. I’ll probably retire now. I don’t see the point of boxing any more,” said Barnes.
“He broke my nose in the first round and from then on I couldn’t see through my left eye. I was just in survival mode.
“I know I had moved up to bantamweight for this fight to get myself going again after the loss last summer to Cristofer Rosales but I have to think about health.”
Barnes arguably won the fourth and sixth rounds with his workrate but Mojica was far too big for the brave Belfast man, a natural flyweight. If this is to be the end for Barnes, he will leave the sport on the back of two defeats but also having had a glittering amateur career, which included two Olympic bronze medals as well as European and Commonwealth Games gold.
The loss came in front of a vociferous St Patrick’s Day crowd, which included close friend Carl Frampton who walked with him to the ring. The Jackal had earlier confirmed that he had signed a new deal with legendary promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank company.
Frampton believes the deal, which will mean he is co-promoted by Arum and Frank Warren, has given his world title aspirations a major boost, with future fights being screened on American channel ESPN as well as BT Sport.
The Jackal would now seem to be on course for a showdown with WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez before the end of the year as the Mexican is also promoted by Top Rank. Valdez was always seen as the main target for the Belfast man due to Warren’s close links with Arum.
“It’s an honour for me to be teaming up with Top Rank for what will be the last chapter of my career,” Frampton said. “It makes a fight, at some point in the future, with WBO champion Oscar Valdez a real possibility. My goal at this stage of my career is still to become a world champion.”
Promoter Arum, who secured a deal with heavyweight Tyson Fury, said: “Carl Frampton is the epitome of a true warrior, and we are proud to be promoting him as he works toward becoming the featherweight champion of the world once again.”