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Paddy Barnes set for biggest challenge of his short career when he takes on WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales at Windsor Park

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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While much of the media focus has been on the upcoming Carl Frampton versus Luke Jackson title fight at Windsor Park in Belfast on August 18, flyweight contender Paddy Barnes 5-0 (1) has been quietly going about his business in the gym preparing for the biggest fight of his life on the undercard when he challenges WBC 112-pound champion Cristofer Rosales 27-3 (18) of Nicaragua.

The novice pro, who has just five paid fights under his belt, will be taking a massive step up in competition against the experienced Rosales, who won the title on the road in Japan with a ninth round TKO of highly-regarded Daigo Higa 15-1 (15) four months ago.

“I believe in my own ability and the worst thing for a boxer is losing and I will be really, really embarrassed to lose in front of the home fans,” Barnes told the Belfast News Letter.

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“If I felt there was a chance of me losing, or if I was going to lose, I would never take this fight out of embarrassment. But I know I am going to win, so I am very confident and that is why I am fighting for it.”

In Rosales, Barnes sees a fighter who mirrors his own tough, gritty style, making for an explosive contest unlikely to go the distance.

“I know he is a come forward relentless fighter. He is very tough and I am sure he hits very hard. I am just expecting a very tough fight,” said Barnes, 31, who has been the ten round distance just once in his pro career.

“My style and his style are very similar. We are not going to let each other breathe. None of us will take a break and we are on collision course, but I will win the fight.”

On the same bill Frampton will defend his interim WBO featherweight title against Australia’s Jackson, while lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has the second fight in his comeback against former world title challenger Francesco Pianeta.

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