After winning two Olympic bronze medals in his decorated amateur career, Paddy Barnes appeared to be a sure thing as far as his pro prospects is concerned, but very few would even predict that Barnes would get to fight for a world title less than two years after turning pro.
It was announced that Barnes will fight WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales on August 18 in Belfast, Northern Ireland on the undercard of Carl Frampton's fight against Luke Jackson. What's noteworthy about Barnes' upcoming title challenge is that Barnes will be challenging for a world title in his sixth pro fight.
If Barnes wins the world title, he joins a list of boxers to win a title only a few fights into their career including Vasiliy Lomacehnko (third fight), Veeraphol Sahaprom (fourth fight) and Saensak Muangsurin (third fight) and Naoya Inoue (sixth fight). A win for Barnes would also make him the quickest Irish fighter to win a title, beating the record set by Katie Taylor last year when she won a women's lightweight title in her seventh pro fight.
Rosales will be making his first world title defense after upsetting Daigo Higa back in April to win the title. Rosales is currently riding a four-fight win streak after last losing to Andrew Selby in 2017.
The card, taking place at Windsor Park in Belfast, is headlined by Frampton vs. Jackson and will also feature the second fight for Tyson Fury since defeating Wladimir Klitschko at the end of 2015.