Not only did the Waterford light heavyweight make his pro debut as chief support on the first show his hometown had seen for 70 years, he fought in atmosphere no first-time pro punchers bar Olympic medal winners would have experienced. Furthermore, Barnes was put in with an opponent known for his ability for asking early days fighters questions.
This certainly wasn’t a debut knockover and The Viking squeaked a 38-37 win following a final round point deduction for his Polish opponent.
Przemyslaw Binienda’s record might not suggest as much, but he comes to fight and, considering he hadn’t entered a ring to compete in over 12 months, was an opponent Team Barnes questioned when he was named last minute.
However, the big Waterford man took the fight and although he was grateful to come through with the win and a heap of experience in the bank, Barnes now knows why he wasn’t his coach’s first choice.
“Honestly he was tough, he was like a good fella you would meet in the amateurs. We knew he was tough but we didn’t know he was that tough,” Barnes explained to Irish-Boxing.com.
“It was a very tough fight and a very tough opponent.”
While Barnes recognised his opponent was tough he admitted the away fighter wasn’t the only reason why he had a tough opening bout.
The former Intermediate champion revealed he ignored the game plan early in the fight and used up too much energy trying to get a first-round stoppage.
“I thought I had him going in the first round, but he took a lot of punishment. I put too much into it and I kind of gassed out. I thought I was going to stop him and I used a lot of energy.”
“The game plan was to go in and box and that went out the window in the first round,” he added before noting that is something he will learn from.”
“That experience and the rounds will really stand to me. They were long rounds, it’s nothing like sparring.”
The atmosphere during the Ring Kings show was something every fighter commented on following their own individual encounters, but for the hometown fighter it was something special and he got quite emotional when praising his support after the chief support fight.
“I have been to pro shows around the country and I never seen anything like that. It was a great atmosphere out there. I am so happy to get the win in front of my home crowd. It really means the world to me.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)