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Paddy Barnes cruises to fourth win, confirms he'll fight unbeaten Spanish champ in November

It was easy in Edinburgh as the Belfast native got the better of Peruvian Juan Hinostroza.

THERE WAS A curious visitor to the Edinburgh bar-restaurant in which the Irish boxing writers were holed up this afternoon.

No sooner than food had been ordered did Paddy Barnes stroll in on his lonesome, hands buried in the pockets of a fur-hood jacket.

“Alright, lads!”

He was looking for his peers, bored out of his tree a full eight hours before he was due to climb through the ropes.

A typically blasé Barnes shrugged his shoulders when asked if he was excited to take to the Meadowbank Arena tonight and shake off a few cobwebs, admitting tonight’s scrap over unheralded Peruvian Juan Hinostroza was an opportunity designed purely to get rounds in the bank ahead of a greater test in his hometown on 18 November.

He was clearly caught in two minds; in the second round, Barnes scored the first knockdown of his career – a laser-like straight right hand the cherry on top of a sharp flurry causing the Spain-based South American to prop himself up off the canvas using his glove.

The count was greeted by roars of ‘TJV, TJV’ from Irish amateur Sean McComb and brother David at ringside – a laughing reference to the Twitter-famous Whatsapp group containing Barnes, Carl Frampton, and a host of other Belfast boxing names, including the Conlan brothers who watched from the other side of the ring, perched next to former Ireland midfielder Graham Kavanagh.

Hinostroza was hurt on multiple occasions in the rounds which followed, Barnes targeting both head and body – occasionally with precision, occasionally just swinging his arms in fury. His right hand, though, remained potent throughout, particularly when arrowed toward the body, drawing numerous ‘ooohs’ from the Meadowbank audience, and yet more ‘TJVs’ from the brothers McComb and friends.

A visibly tired Barnes powered to the finish, landing some nice flurries en route to the final bell, which has now sounded in each of his first four professional fights. The referee scored the contest 60-53 in Barnes’ favour.

Credit the Peruvian, too, who has still never been stopped in what’s now eight defeats. He had brief moments of success when Barnes was satisfied that his power would not be an issue, and deserved the warm applause he received from a Scottish-majority audience.

Barnes, full of smiles as the gloves were ripped from his fists by trainer Danny Vaughan in his dressing room, improves to 4-0, and a proper WBO European title defence will follow at Belfast’s SSE Arena on 18 November, on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s ring return and Jamie Conlan’s IBF World super-flyweight title bout.

“I wanted the knockout,” said the former three-time Olympican, “but I wanted the rounds as well, like.”

A laughing Barnes admitted he “tired like fuck” towards the end, explaining how his adversaries awkward southpaw stance had led to numerous clashes of heads.

Next up will be undefeated Spanish bantamweight champion Moncho Miras on that massive Belfast bill next month, or so Barnes hopes. The 9-0 (3KOs) Galicia native will first trade leather with his seven-fight unbeaten compatriot, Aramis Torres (also 3KOs) for the vacant Spanish flyweight title tomorrow night.

Barnes did admit a fight with Torres would be a possibility were the 22-year-old to upset the naturally larger Miras in Las Palmas. Either will provide a stern test of his credentials, but Barnes is relishing the challenge.

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