Paddy Barnes wins on professional debut in absurd fashion

Stefan Slavchev disqualified for picking up Belfast fighter during fourth round

Paddy Barnes was victorious on his professional debut on Saturday night, albeit in very bizarre circumstances in Belfast.

Three-time Olympian Barnes, fighting on the undercard of Jamie Conlan's bout with David Koos, was awarded victory in the fourth round after Bulgarian opponent Stefan Slavchev was disqualified.

Operating at flyweight Barnes was heading towards a comfortable points decision in the six round bout, with the limited Slavchev offering very little as he tried to frustrate the Belfast native.

However, the judges' cards weren’t needed when in the fourth round Slavchev scooped up Barnes and hoisted him over his shoulder in a fireman’s lift.


The Bulgarian was immediately disqualified by referee Hughie Russell Jr, handing Barnes the win on his pro bow.

After his victory Barnes talked of a disrputed build-up to the fight, owing to family concerns, he said: “It’s been tough, I haven’t really been able to train properly, but it was an easy enough four rounds.

“I’m just glad to get it out of the way and I can focus on bigger things next year. I want to be fighting big names.”

29-year-old Barnes opted to turn professional after a disappointing exit from this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.

He has joined fellow Rio Olympian Michael Conlan on a St Patrick's Day card at Madison Square Garden next year, where Conlan will make his professional debut.