Last week, Sunderland’s Watson accepted the fight scheduled for March 9th at Newcastle when the middleweights, who have both previously impressed at Made4TheCage, will collide at the Metro Radio Arena.
Speaking to me at M4TC 9: Night of Champions last weekend, Barnes said: “I appreciate Steve stepping in at late notice because he will only have three weeks to prepare but if he thinks that I am the kind of opponent he can prepare for on three weeks’ notice then he is stupid.
“He will find it out the hard way and I will be going out there to prove a point to him and everyone else. He is obviously a game kid having taken it on short notice but I don’t think that is too smart of him,” he continued. “If he wants it though he can have it, I won’t say no because my training so far has been spot on and I am just looking forward to the fight.”
The 11-10 submission expert also played a part in getting BAMMA to come to the North East for the first time when voting was held last year to see which UK city would play host to the event and he is also full of praise for fans from this part of the country.
“I love fighting in the North East!”, he said. “During the voting for BAMMA, everyone was trying to get me to pick Liverpool because that is where I train but my girlfriend lives in Newcastle and there is a great atmosphere when fighting here which I love and I have a lot of friends and support in this area so I can’t wait for it.
“The fans are great here and they know their stuff. I really loved fighting here on M4TC [against Micky Burns] and I think it is the fans that make it. They like a drink and good banter and it is just a fun place to fight.”
Do not expect to see Leeroy back on a M4TC card too soon though because the popular middleweight has signed an exclusive deal with BAMMA and is also setting his goals for the coming year.
“My goals for the year ahead and throughout my BAMMA contract are to just continue fighting top class opposition because every fighter wants to test themselves and I hope to keep putting on exciting fights that people will want to watch.”