The Belfast flyweight was knocked out in the fourth round of his challenge of WBC champion Cristofer Rosales back in August and makes his return on December 22nd.
Barnes fights in a six-rounder on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s IBF featherweight title fight with champion Josh Warrington and he plans for this to be the first of “two or three” fights before he gets back into world title action himself.
The 31-year-old double Olympic medallist told IFL TV that “I’m really, really excited, I’ve only fought once this year.”
“I’m getting the show back on the road on the 22nd of December on the Frampton bill. It’s going to be a great bill to be a part of.”
Outlining his plans to return to world level, Barnes described how “I’ll get this fight out of the way and then, hopefully, in March or April I’ll fight a ten rounder against a seasoned pro from Mexico or South America.”
“Two or three more fights and I’ll make a charge for another world title, still within ten fights.”
Surveying the current scene, Barnes admits that it is a talent-packed division.
The Cliftonville man noted how “I think, realistically, I won’t get that shot again, at Rosales, I think that’s gone.”
“I’m aiming for any of the other belts – the WBO champion is [Kosei] Tanaka who is a killer but I’m here to be killed if he wants to kill me. You’ve the IBF champion from South Africa [Moruti Mthalane] but Charlie Edwards is probably going to fight him for some weird reason. And you’ve got the WBA champion from Ukraine [Artem Dalakian. They’re all pretty solid champions.”
Some felt Barnes, in just his sixth fight, had stepped up to world level too soon.
Wins against Elicier Quezada, Juan Hinostroza, and Silvio Olteanu were rated but the jump was still seen as premature.
Barnes would admit that the risk was an opportunistic one which didn’t pay off but ‘The Leprechaun’ isn’t going to let the loss change his approach.
“I see people saying ‘he jumped in too soon’. Yeah I did, so what? I don’t care, it’s my career, I’ll do what I want with it,” said Barnes defiantly.
“It is what it is, these things happen. If I lose, I lose, I’ll know where I’m at.”
“I would fight Rosales again next week if I could.”
Watch Paddy Barnes’s interview with IFL TV in full below: