By Chris Woodside
Former two-time Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes is still reflecting on victory in his first professional fight at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast.
He encountered journeyman Stefan Slavchev and the match was cut short in the fourth round as the Bulgarian lifted Barnes aloft.
Speaking to BBC Northern Ireland Barnes said: “I’m devastated like, I built it up so much and he’s a typical journeyman, he’s a spoiler and wouldn’t stand and fight with me.”
This fight was supposed to be a turning point for Barnes after an outburst in the summer about amateur boxing and the big talking point of the Olympics about how it was “fixed”.
He let his feelings show as he took to Twitter to take a dig at his opponent but commented how good again the Belfast boxing support was.
Terrible debut last night, welcomed to the pros the hard way, easy win but couldn't perform against a clown! Support was amazing!!!!! 👍 pic.twitter.com/vEDCwZosfM
— Paddy Barnes OLY (@paddyb_ireland) November 6, 2016
A lot of talk after the fight was about where Barnes goes from here. At the age of 29 and starting his career against an opponent that has had 24 losses from 33 fights, it has people wondering about where he can go from here.
After the fight Barnes spoke about how he felt he was unable to showcase his skills and make a statement on the boxing world as he said “it was like I was fighting a little kid at my club”.
Barnes also said to BBC NI: “I hope to achieve a European Title within five fights.”
Barnes was huge in the amateur ranks with two Olympic bronzes and two commonwealth gold medals. He is seen as a big fight now as he has a great boxing history. People are already looking at people he could come up against within his next couple of fights and one name in particular that is coming up is his previous amateur turned professional foe Zou Shiming.
Shiming fought on the same night as Barnes only in more extravagant surroundings in Las Vegas.
Barnes has already agreed to fight in Madison Square garden on St Patricks Day on the same card as the controversial Michael Conlan.