Paddy Barnes' US debut confirmed for St. Patrick's Day card 2 weeks ago

Paddy Barnes' US debut confirmed for St. Patrick's Day card

'The Leprechaun' is heading Stateside.

Paddy Barnes' US debut has been confirmed for St. Patrick's Day, with the two-time Olympic bronze medallist set to take on American Oscar Mojica at Madison Square Garden on the card which will be headlined by fellow Belfast man, Michael Conlan.

Barnes will be hoping to rebound from his first professional defeat, which came at Windsor Park last August, when he takes to the ring on March 17 in front of a crowd that one can assume will include plenty of Irish support.

The Irish flyweight was scheduled to make his comeback in Manchester before Christmas on the undercard of Josh Warrington vs. Carl Frampton but the swing bout never took place due to the fight card running longer than expected.

"I’m extremely excited to be fighting at such an iconic venue – it’s every boxer’s dream and the fact it’s on St Patrick’s Day with Mick on the card makes it all the better," Barnes said.

"I’m expecting the atmosphere to be amazing. There’ll be so many Irish fans there and we all know they bring a noise. My name’s Paddy, my nickname’s ‘The Leprechaun’ and I’m fighting in New York on Paddy’s Day. Could it BE any more Irish?

"Mick and I have travelled the world together but this will be the first time we’ll have fought in America together. I boxed all over as an amateur but this will be the first time I’ve fought abroad as a professional and I can’t wait.

"American fans are about to see a small man get into the ring and throw punches like mad. I think they’re going to enjoy it."

It promises to be a monster weekend for Irish fight fans as we will have Katie Taylor, Jono Carroll and John Joe Nevin all fighting in Philadelphia on March 15, UFC lightweight Joe Duffy will make his long-awaited comeback at UFC London on March 16 before Conlan and Barnes get the chance to showcase their skills on March 17.

There'll be a few late nights that weekend!