The Belfast flyweight returns to the ring on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena, four months on from his challenge of WBC champion Cristofer Rosales.
In a bid to make history as the Irish fighter to become world champion in the least number of fights, Barnes was stopped to the body at the end of the fourth round.
Keen to make another assault on the upper echelons of the sport, Barnes makes a relatively quick return on the Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton undercard, live on BT Sport Box Office, and will face Isaac Quaye [31(22)-18(5)-1].
A former Ghanaian and West African champion as well as a two-time Commonwealth title challenger, Quaye is an experienced and durable foe for Barnes.
The 38 year old has lost every time he has stepped outside his own country, but has 31 wins to his name and generally goes the distance. Indeed, he has gone the six round distance three times in 2018 and lasted eight last time out.
‘Pretty Boy Junior’ may well have represented perfect opposition for Barnes’ sixth pro fight, but instead the ambitious Belfast fighter went the world title route – so while the Ghanaian is a step down from ‘The Leprechaun’s’ last opponent he remains a good test for any fly in and around 5 fights.
Barnes hopes Satur ay’s fight will be step one of a three-step journey back to world level.
“I hope for maybe two more fights after this and then hopefully I’ll have another shot at a world title. Then I’ll simply take it from there.”