Barnes had eyed up Shiming, a former amateur rival who twice beat Barnes in Olympic semi-finals, from early in his professional career, but Shiming's loss to Kimura essentially scuppered that bout. It hasn't however dampened Barnes's wish to win a world title, and it seems he has now decided to chase the conqueror of his former amateur nemesis.
At the moment Kimura hasn't got any mandatory obligations and is free to negotiate his next fight with any WBO ranked fight. The popular view seems to be that Kimura will pursue a bout with countryman Kosei Tanaka (10-0, 6) [田中恒成], who is seeking a third weight world title, but Barnes does give the champion an alternative, and a chance to face a third straight Olympian. It could be a very compelling option if Tanaka's team can't provide a worthwhile offer for the champion, who is expected to make his ring return in late Spring or early Summer.
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