August 15 Jonny Stapleton
Paddy Barnes has backed long time friend and fellow Belfast boxing super star Carl Frampton to emulate him by becoming European ring king on September 10.
Amateur Barnes claimed continental bragging rights by claiming the European Gold medal in Azerbaijan in June and predicts Frampton will follow suit by defeating Kiko Martinez on the under card of Paul McCloskey’s WBA world title eliminator with Breidis Prescott.
The Beijing Bronze medallist says Frampton will have too much for the ‘one dimensional’ fighter with Irish previous.
“I beat him to European title and I hopefully I will beat him to the world title too by winning it in September. I slag him about that, but he will follow me and become European champion on September 10 and then come world champion down the line,” Barnes explained.
“There is no way Kiko has the skills Carl Frampton has. Carl will definitely beat him. Kiko is one dimensional. Carl is a smart boxer and Kiko isn’t. Not to mention Carl continues to improve since he went pro. His training and diet alone are unreal. He is very disciplined. He wants this big time. I think he already has the European title in the bag and he will go on to win a world title too.”
Whilst Barnes has every confidence Frampton has the tools to succeed at the top he isn’t so sure the IABA have what it takes to make sure the Irish amateur team do.
A bemused Barnes claims he has yet to be informed of the proposed training camp in Italy this weekend.
The flyweight also thinks its farcical that the Irish team to go to the up coming World championships will be picked a day after the fly to Italy to train.
“You know as much as me, nobody has told me anything, nobody has even said there’s going to be a camp, but apparently we’re going to Italy. I don’t know anything about the Italy camp, not one person told me about this camp to Italy,” the Gerry Storey trained fighter explained.
“The team is getting picked on Saturday, what’s going on there? They complain about not having any money and they’re going to send a team on Friday and not pick the team until Saturday. They send us all over, spend loads of money and bring them all back. It costs even more money,” he added before discussing the box offs.
“I couldn’t do it anyway because of my wrist, but you win an Irish title and then you have to bring your club down there. Your club doesn’t have much money to pay again, it’s madness. The guys must realise clubs don’t have that much money, and there’ s costs – entry fees and that.
“They’re saying that they’re having these box-offs to assess Irish champions and European champions –how can you assess a European champion? He’s won the European title, what’s to assess? It’s nuts. I don’t even think they’re boxing men, they’re just business men.”