Barnes opened the BoxNation-televised portion of the big MTK Scotland bill at the Meadowbank Sports Centre and put on his best performance as a pro to date.
‘The Leprechaun’ took on tough Peruvian Juan Hinostroza in a six-round tool-sharpener ahead of the defence of his rankings belt next month.
The South American was unlucky to only claim a dubious draw with controversial prospect Prince Patel back in 2015, but was no match for Barnes.
It was a cagey opener, with Barnes probing at the retreating southpaw as both sought to size each other up.
A more open second saw the double Olympic bronze medalist pick his shots and counter well, but Hinostroza was landing the occasionally sneaky shot. Barnes then scored the first knockdown of his professional career in the closing seconds, catching an increasingly aggressive Hinostroza with a counter right that saw the away fighter’s glove briefly touch down.
Hinostroza was becoming ragged in the third and a meaty hook to the body from Barnes saw the visitor’s legs sag. The Cliftonville fighter was hurting Hinostroza to the body consistently and catching him to the head when he looked to tuck up.
The game journeyman steadied himself in the fourth and even tried to trade with Barnes at times – but it continued to be one-way traffic.
The Belfast 30 year old continued to coast into the fifth, and landed clean, sharp punches to the head and body whenever Hinostroza had the temerity to attack.
Both boxers upped the pace in an entertaining final round. Barnes was hurting his opponent, but Hinostroza would hang in, fire back, and see the bell.
Going to the card Barnes claimed a comfortable 60:53 win.
The win sees Barnes improve his record to 4(0)-0, while the game Juan Hinostroza, who would be a great test for Bray youngster Regan Buckley, falls to 5(2)-8(0)-1.
Next up for the Irishman is a defence of his WBO European title on the ‘Frampton Reborn’ bill at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday November 18th.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)