Paddy Barnes: Belfast fighter considering future after being outclassed by Jay Harris
Paddy Barnes has said he is considering his boxing future after being outclassed by Jay Harris in a gripping flyweight bout at the Ulster Hall.
Harris stopped Barnes in the fourth round after dropping the Belfast native with a body shot for the second time.
It was a third professional defeat for the 32-year-old, who is a two-time Olympic bronze medalist.
"There is no point in going on if you are losing at European level and if your body is failing you," he said.
"If I can't take the body shots in the professional game then what's the point? I'm 32, I'm quite old in the pro game.
"I've been fast-tracked and have been successful in the sense that I have done so much in such a short career. I don't regret anything."
Harris added the IBF Inter-Continental flyweight title to his European belt after a classy display.
Belfast's Sean McComb won his fight earlier in the night, as did Lewis Crocker and Conrad Cummings.
After a sharp start from Barnes, Harris took control and landed some significant shots, including a bruising overhand right, to leave the Belfast fighter looking weary on his feet midway through the opening round.
Typically courageous, however, two-time Olympic bronze medallist Barnes landed a series of impressive shots, but Harris, looking cool and composed throughout, continued to find the answers, dropping his opponent in a riveting third round with a punishing left hook to the body.
The Welshman sustained a cut above his right eye during a defiant flurry of punches from the hometown favourite.
It didn't impact the outcome, however, as Barnes was unable to recover from another crushing body blow in the fourth to leave referee Phil Edwards with no option but to end the contest.
McComb outlasts Rodriguez
McComb continued his flawless professional record with a points victory over Emiliano Rodriguez after eight absorbing rounds.
The Belfast super-lightweight started well and caught the Argentine with a strong right hand, but Rodriguez remained unfazed and dropped McComb in the fourth with a well-executed body shot.
McComb regrouped and used his jab efficiently before eventually seeing out the bout to take it 79-73.
It was another win for the Turf Lodge fighter, but undoubtedly the sternest examination he's faced during his professional career.
The night began with Belfast welterweight Lewis Crocker comfortably seeing off Ohio Iremiren in six rounds, taking the fight 59-56 on the ref's scorecard.
Kildare's Gary Cully then made light work of Danny Mendoza in the second fight of the evening, who extended his professional record to nine wins in as many fights.
Conrad Cummings bounced back from his defeat to Luke Keeler in April by beating Polish fighter Adam Grabiec in six rounds. It was a strange fight, with Grabiec going down twice in the fourth round; a low blow and a slip.
Grabiec complained that Cummings had caught him with further low blows. His corner threw in the towel only for referee Hugh Russell Jr to order the fight to continue.
Tyrone native Cummings finished strongly and the fight was scored 59-54 in his favour.
Ruairi Dalton secured an impressive victory on his professional debut before highly rated Limerick prospect Paddy Donovan started his pro career with a bang as he clinched a knockout victory 80 seconds into his fight with Arturo Lopez with a show-stopping left hand.
The Mexican required oxygen and left the arena on a stretcher.
Former world champion Terry Flanagan stopped Michael Ansah in the fourth round before Dublin's Pierce O'Leary secured a win on his professional debut as he overcame Nicaraguan fighter Oscar Amador in an entertaining four-rounder.