Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes MBE claimed his first professional win last night in bizarre circumstances after his outclassed opponent performed a wrestling-style grappling move.
Barnes branded his Bulgarian opponent, Stefan Slavchev, a “clown” after the flyweight bout and expressed disappointment he was not able to perform as he would have liked.
The former Olympic medallist from Belfast dominated Slachev from the opening bell until the fourth round when Slachev ended the bout with his over-the-shoulder grappling antics.
Writing on Twitter after the fight, Barnes said: “Terrible debut last night. Welcomed to the pros the hard way, easy win but couldn’t perform against a clown. Support was amazing.”
Fighting at the Titanic Exhibition Centre last night, Barnes was one of four Ulstermen to claim victory.
Jamie Conlan, brother of fellow boxer Michael whose controversial loss in the Rio Olympics made headlines around the world, claimed a unanimous points decision against the Hungarian David Koos to put himself in world title contention.
Marco McCullough defeated Luis Ligo in his fight for the vacant WBO Intercontinental featherweight championship when his opponent failed to come off his stool for the fifth round.
Another boxer from Belfast, 26-year-old Steven Ward, marked his professional debut with a points win over 31-year-old Bulgarian Merdjidin Yuseeinov.
Commonwealth silver-medallist Ward produced a steady display and was declared the winner by 40 points to 36.
Tyrone McKenna won the Celtic super-lightweight belt by stopping Dublin opponent Sean Creagh.