The Waterford light heavyweight was due to make his bow on the ill-fated ‘It’s A Bout Boxing Ireland’ card last April and has had to wait until the inaugural Ring Kings bill in his home city this weekend.
It’s been a tough time for the former Intermediate champion, but Barnes has come out stronger and is ready to hit the ground running at the WIT Arena on Saturday.
Looking back at the past while, Barnes told Irish-Boxing.com how “it’s nearly a year since I was scheduled to make my debut in Dublin and, of course, that’s been a huge set back in kickstarting my professional career.”
“I lost confidence in boxing and in myself. I felt I let people down as well when it was cancelled within 2 weeks to the show date. It was extremely frustrating.”
“Now with my upcoming fight I’m a different man to what I was then in the sense that I have learned an awful lot about myself. I’ve learned that there will be setbacks with everything but you must overcome these in order to succeed at whatever it is your goals are.”
“I’m much more confident in my abilities and I have a hunger that wasn’t there this time last year.”
Another brightside to his elongated entry into the pros is a debut date on the first card in Waterford since the 1940s, joining fellow Déise fighters Rohan Date and Craig McCarthy who co-headline the bill.
This isn’t lost on the former St Paul’s amateur who outlined how “it means a lot to me to be making my debut in my home city. It has given me great pride to be on this card because I’ll be on it with another two of Waterford’s most promising fighters that I’ve trained and competed alongside over the years.”
The 30-year-old hasn’t been given a knockover for his debut and will face game Polish fighter Przemyslaw Binienda [2(2)-15(6)] over four rounds. Despite an unflattering record, the Eastern European gave good tests to Irish fighters Chris Mullally and Steven Ward last year.
“I know these lads personally so it’s a sense of achievement to have us all in this together.”
Barnes though is just looking forward to getting started and putting on a show on the Neil Power-promoted card.
He noted how “I don’t know a lot about my opponent. I’ve seen his fight record that’s about it but I will go out into the ring Saturday night and be prepared for all eventualities no matter what opponent I have I’ll be ready and prepared. His fighting style won’t affect me.”
“The fans can expect an amazing and very professionally run show from the Ring Kings. From start to finish. Each fight is guaranteed to entertain. The media interest and support has been second to none in the preparation for this event and they have created a great buzz about the place. People who have never even attended boxing are going to the show as it’s an event not to be missed.”
“My own supporters will see me in a new light as it’s not the same as amateur boxing and I’m sure to give a great performance on the night. I’m really looking forward to making the transition finally.”