The two-time Olympic bronze medalist revealed that he may even make his pro bow before 2016 is out.
The Holy Family boxer missed out on a third Olympic medal in Rio, with weight issues ruining his chances and contributing to an opening loss against Spaniard Samuel Carmona. A light flyweight (49kg/108lbs) in the amateurs, Barnes will move to flyweight (50.8kg/112lbs) initially in the pros.
Barnes told Paddy Power, who sponsor him, that “my debut will possibly be before Christmas in Belfast. It’s my home city so it would be great to begin my career there.”
Targeting the top, Barnes described how “I’ll still be disappointed with my (amateur) career, not winning a gold medal.”
“That will never leave me, but bringing back the world title is something that’s just as recognisable. That will in some ways make up for it.”
With his high-intensity style, physical strength, charismatic personality, and eight fights worth of experience in the five-round format of the WSB, Barnes has all the ingredients to be a success in the paid game.