The three-time Olympian had begun to maneuver himself toward a WBO flyweight world title shot by claiming the WBO European and Inter-Continental titles just as Shiming [9(2)-2(1)] was losing the brown strap in his first defence to the unheralded Japanese boxer Sho Kimura.
However, was still hopeful he would get the chance to get Shiming revenge claiming he would go win the title before offering the Chinese fighter a chance to win it back.
Shiming beat the Belfast fighter at both the 2008 and 2012 Games en route to consecutive gold medals – as well as in the 2007 World Championships – and Barnes has talked about avenging the defeats since he turned over in November of 2015.
Revenge wasn’t the only incentive for Barnes, a bout with the massive Chinese name would prove lucrative for the Belfast man not to mention victory over the Icon in China would have seen him become a World name in his own right.
However, a return to the ring for the 36 year old looks unlikely after he has endured eye trouble since that damaging July reverse.
Difficulties during a flight to Beijing recently saw this injury worsen and prompted Shiming to see an eye specialist.
Indeed retirement seems the most likely route for the amateur legend after it was confirmed he suffered a detached retina in his left eye.
The flyweight revealed he had lost sight in one of his eyes during the aforementioned flight and, after tests, reports in China suggest the prognosis “didn’t look good.”
30 year old Barnes last fought in November, scoring a break-out win over Elicier Quezada which has seen him rise to 10th in the WBO 112lbs rankings and he will look to build on this soon – most likely on the April 7th Carl Frampton v Nonito Donaire undercard in Belfast.