Triple-Olympian Paddy Barnes believes potential exposure on British television networks BoxNation and BT Sport could help persuade Sho Kimura to come over to Belfast and fight.
The Northern Irishman recently called out WBO world flyweight champion Kimura, a weight class where Barnes holds the European and Inter-Continental titles.
Speaking to BoxNation, Barnes said:
“At the end of the day, they’re only rankings belts. I’m 10th at the minute. I’m hopeful that the World Title fight is very soon.”
“I see he defended his title on New Year’s Eve. The fight could be made because I’m in the top 10 rankings. He had a mandatory fight there against the number one contender. Hopefully he would pick me [for a voluntary], because for him it would be a positive thing to fight me.”
Barnes last boxed on Carl Frampton’s undercard at the SSE Arena, Belfast in front of thousands of fans.
Frampton returns to action on April 21st in the same venue and Barnes hopes the prospect of defending his belt on a big show will convince Kimura to make the journey to Belfast.
“Nobody really knows him outside of Japan. No one really knows me anywhere either, except Ireland and the UK,” he admitted. “If he was to fight me, the exposure he would get would be unbelievable.”
“The Leprechaun” Barnes is confident that he can overcome the 29-year-old Tokyo fighter despite not watching much footage of Kimura in action:
“It’s mainly been YouTube, a few of his fights. He’s obviously good, he’s World Champion, but I’d be confident in beating him. Definitely.”
Barnes has recently been called out by super-flyweight Sunny Edwards on social media, which lead to a heated exchange on on Twitter:
“I’ve stopped replying to his tweets because he’s an absolute no one, he’s a kid. I’m 30-years-old, I’m not gonna be here for a long time. I’m not going to put myself through a 12-week camp for a backwards step.
“His friends and family sent some tweets. Some of them, for me, have been very insulting, and he’s told a lot of lies. If I was him I’d be very careful,” warned the Belfast man.”