Having lost at world level and flyweight and having learnt the hard way bantamweight is a step too far the three time Olympian believes the smaller the better and is dropping down to light flyweight.
Barnes will make steps toward the lower weight when he returns on the massive Michael Conlan Feile card on August 3 and is adamant the light fly is were he can have genuine professional success.
Indeed, the planned drop in weight doesn’t mean a lowering of ambition levels for ‘The Leprechaun’, Barnes is targeting big titles in little man category.
“My main focus for this fight at Féile is getting as close to flyweight as possible in order to get down to light-flyweight,” he said when speaking to the Irish News.
“I’ll be campaigning for titles at light-fly from now on, I probably should have been doing it my whole career but I tested the waters at flyweight and my last fight was at bantamweight. Light-fly is the weight I’ll be fighting at from now on – it’s the weight I’ve been most successful at as an amateur and it’s the weight I can be most successful as a pro.”
Barnes and weight talk have gone hand in hand for sometime now. As he got older some questioned whether or not making light fly was achievable or even healthy.
The fighter himself declares he knows his body and has no time for weight doubters.
The two time Olympic bronze medal winner points out he hasn’t made the decision to move down the scales lightly or without doing his homework.
A scientific approach has been implimented and making 108lbs, according to Barnes, is possible and safe.
“People say it will be hard for me to get down to light-fly but that’s people who don’t really know anything about sports science or diet,” he said.
“There are myths and old wives’ tales that go around, people aren’t educated enough to talk about it. I’ve done the tests. I’ve been to see a nutritionist who I’m working with now and I’ve done a resting metabolic rate (RMR) test to see how many calories I burn just resting, I’ve done blood tests to see if there’s anything I’m deficient in and tests on my bone density to ensure that I can make the weight.”
“If I couldn’t make the weight then I wouldn’t even try to do it and I got those tests done to ensure I can make it healthily. I’ll be 51kg for the next fight but next year hopefully I can push on for a title at light-fly.”