At a press conference in Belfast earlier today, Frank Warren and Queensbury Promotions announced that three-time Irish Olympian Paddy Barnes will face Spain’s Silvio Olteanu for the vacant WBO European title at The Waterfront in Belfast on June 17th.
.@paddyb_ireland: "Hopefully this will be my first pro title of many."
Paddy faces Spaniard Silvio Olteanu for the Vacant WBO Euro strap 🏆 pic.twitter.com/5BvCy210xN
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) May 2, 2017
Barnes, who scooped bronze medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the London Olympics in 2012, turned professional last year after a disappointing run at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro. He has since won two fights, defeating Stefan Slavchev by DQ under strange circumstances in November last and outpointing Adrian Dimas Garzon over six rounds in March. In both Slavchev and Garzon, Barnes took on journeymen with rather messy looking records; nothing out of the ordinary for a pro prospect in the early stages of his development
In Olteanu, Barnes faces another man with an uninspiring record on paper, but who has held the EBU European flyweight title and boxed for the WBA flyweight title in hostile territory in Japan.
In 28 professional outings, Olteanu has won 16, lost 11 and drawn once. He has only been stopped twice in his career, by former IBF bantamweight titlist Paul Butler and undefeated Ukrainian puncher Artem Dalakian. Those stoppages both came in his last 4 fights though, suggesting that the 39-year-old’s punch resistance may be waning. Of Olteanu’s own 16 wins, 7 have come inside the distance.
Two other Irishmen, Jono Carroll and Stephen Ormond, will also fight for European belts on the card. Carroll faces Liverpool’s Johnny Quigley for the vacant IBF European title, while Ormond takes on Welshman Craig Evans for the WBO European lightweight strap.
Belfast’s blood and guts warrior Jamie Conlan will also feature on the card, but his opponent has yet to be named.