In just his sixth professional fight, the Belfast flyweight will challenge WBC champion Cristofer Rosales [27(18)-3(0)] at Windsor Park football stadium on the Carl Frampton v Luke Jackson undercard.
A massive task, for which Barnes is the underdog with the bookmakers, the Cliftonville 31-year-old is aiming to score a career-defining win over the Nicaraguan titleholder.
With a monumental challenge facing him, Barnes, who has only gone past the sixth round once, has stepped up his preparations accordingly.
Following a pre-camp in Dubai, ‘The Leprechaun’ has been holed away in Glasgow with coach Danny Vaughan alongside stablemates Sean McComb and Sam Maxwell who both also feature this weekend.
Barnes, who made an almost four pound jump from being a same-day light flyweight in the amateurs to a day-before flyweight in the pros, is promising to be in the best shape of his career following an arduous and precise camp which has included sparring with WBA super fly champion and Rosales defeator Kal Yafai.
The WBC #14, who has received a special dispensation to challenge for the famous green belt, explained how “I’ve approached this [fight] differently.”
“I’ve really dedicated myself on nutrition. Making the weight has been easier. It’s still hard but it’s easier than it was because I’ve been smarter about what I eat.”
“My whole attitude towards sport has changed. I’ve two kids now so I need to provided for my family. Plus, I want to better my own career.
Barnes is aiming to surpass Katie Taylor as the Irish boxer to become world champion in the least amount of fights and our twenty-first or twenty-second champion in total depending on how TJ Doheny’s IBF super bantamweight title fight with champion Ryosuke Iwasa on Thursday morning plays out.
This opportunity is not lost on Barnes who described how “right now, this fight is my sixth fight and I’ve a chance of creating history.”
“Yes, I’ve had success as an amateur at the Olympic Games and whatever but this will define me as a boxer. It defines my career.”