Paddy Barnes returned to winning ways in front of his home crowd with a comfortable points victory over Joel Sanchez.

The former world title contender was awarded five of the six rounds.

Returning to flyweight, the Olympic medallist controlled proceedings to take his first win since November 2017.

Despite suffering an early cut, Barnes showed superior hand speed and shot selection to comfortable dispatch of his opponent.

Twelve months ago, Barnes suffered his first defeat as a professional, losing a world title fight against Cristofer Rosales after a brutal body blow.

He then moved up two weights for his next bout in March, but lost on a split decision after which he questioned his future in the sport before ultimately deciding to continue.

Barnes, 32, will fight again this year before seeking a world title bout.

Elsewhere on the undercard there were wins for Belfast natives Padraig McCrory and Sean McComb.

McCrory seized the BUI super-middleweight belt with an outstanding final round stoppage of Steve Collins Jr.

McComb added to his burgeoning reputation as he moved his professional record to 8-0 with an impressive outing against Renald Garrido.

There was disappointment for Paddy Gallagher who lost his British and Commonwealth title fight against Chris Jenkins in controversial fashion.

The bout was stopped in the ninth round due to cuts above Jenkins’ eyes, which the referee deemed to be sustained as a result of ‘unintentional fouls’, before Jenkins was awarded the victory on the judges’ cards.


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