A poster released today has confirmed the Cliftonville flyweight for the stadium fight night in Belfast at the Windsor Park football ground.
Barnes’s will be one of the chief support bouts alongside the ongoing comeback of former unified heavyweight champ Tyson Fury.
Like with Fury and headliner Frampton, no details regarding opponents or titles for Barnes have been revealed but the double Olympic bronze medallist looks set to have a big fight.
Promoter Frank Warren had mentioned a world title opportunity for Barnes – who, in January, called out WBO champion Sho Kimura – while a rematch with former Olympic rival Zou Shiming had also been rumoured.
The 31-year-old is ranked #6 by the WBO, holding the organisation’s Inter-Continental and European belts, and a fight with the clear-scheduled and lightly-backed Kimura [16(9)-1(1)-2] would look to make sense. The Japanese fighter upset Shiming [9(2)-2(1)] in China last year to take the title, stopping the amateur legend who was reported to have suffered a career-threatening eye injury in the contest.
However, there are also whispers that Barnes, who is currently ranked #16 by the WBC, may challenge for the green belt against new champion Cristofer Rosales [27(18)-3(0)]. The 23-year-old Nicaraguan caused a major shock in April, upsetting Japanese starlet Daigo Higa who had lost the title on the scales and seemed to be badly suffering from his weight cut.
The Belfast little man is also ranked at #14 with the IBF but that organisation’s vacant belt is contested next month by South African Moruti Mthalane and Pakistan’s Muhammad Waseem – two fighters previously called out by Barnes.
The WBA belt is held by Ukrainian Artem Dalakian who defends versus Thai fighter Sirichai Thaiyen this weekend.
The opponent for Barnes – and Frampton and, perhaps, Fury – is expected to be confirmed at a press conference in Belfast next week along with the remainder of the undercard.
Frampton is rumoured to be facing Aussie Luke Jackson – although promoter Warren has claimed that there are a number of potential options.