The two time Olympic bronze medallist missed out on the chance to become the fastest Irish fight to win a world title when the Nicaraguan champ beat him on the massive Carl Frampton versus Luke Jackson card back in August.
‘The Leprechaun’s’ record breaking world title hopes were ended by a brilliant body shot in the fourth round, but that shot or defeat haven’t taken the wind out of the Cliftonville flyweight’s world title sails.
Indeed, the popular Belfast fighter has set his sights on another of the 112lbs world champions and becoming world champion within 10 fights.
Barnes is looking to bounce back on December 22nd on the undercard of the Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton IBF featherweight world title fight in Manchester – and will instantly set about looking to become world champion in 2019.
“On December 22, I’m determined to get back to winning ways and then going on to having a big 2019,” said Barnes.
“I’m aiming to become a world champion and I still believe I can do it within 10 professional fights.”
Barnes even has a champion in mind and is targeting a bout with IBF strap holder, Moruti Mthalane [36(24)-2(2)].
The Danny Vaughan-trained puncher had called for a fight with South African, via Irish-Boxing.com, well over a year ago back when Mthalane held the lightly-regarded IBO belt.
36-year-old Mthalane has since defeated Pakistani Muhammad Waseem to win the red world title and Barnes is keen on challenging the former Nonito Donaire opponent and Zolani Tete defeater
Barnes outlined how “I’m going to be pushing for a shot at the IBF world champion, Moruti Mthalane. He’s at the head of my list at the moment.”
“Mthalane is 36 so he’s the only world champion who’s older than me and I think I could take him,” he added before stressing he was happy to be back in camp.
Barnes ambitions also seem to put paid to any British title fight with Andrew Selby or the vocal Sunny Edwards.
A clash between Selby and Barnes was put forward for purse bids by the British Boxing Board of Control in their most recent circular.
However, Barnes seems intent on doing all he can to secure a world title fight and has also dismissed a clash with Edwards, whose brother Charlie challenges Rosales on the Dillian Whyte v Dereck Chisora undercard in London on December 22nd..