'Dazzling' Darren Barker gets his second opportunity at a world title with a shot at Australian Daniel Geale's IBF Middleweight championship on the 17th August in New York.
Darren is a technical fighter who had a very good amateur career including winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2002.
With a record of 24 wins and one loss, Barker boasts a good record. His only loss is to a pound for pound top 10 in Sergio Martinez. Martinez may be slightly faded but he is still a top-level fighter with huge experience.
There is no shame in losing to Marinez and Barker will have learnt much in that fight and is a much improved boxer for the experience.
Following the fight to Martinez and an injury lay-off Barker seems both mentally and physically stronger. He is punching hard and seems to have a bit of spite to go with his undoubted technical ability.
He came back and destroyed both Kerry Hope and Simone Rotolo. He really seems to be in the right place to go on and win a world title. He is looking very impressive.
Daniel Geale has a record of 29 wins a one loss. Geale gained the title by beating German Felix Sturm who other British fighters Martin Murray and Mathew Macklin failed to beat. Geale also won gold at the Common Wealth Games in 2002 but down at welterweight.
This similarly represents that Geale has a good technique and will be a tricky customer for Barker. Geale will be keen to keep the fight to set up future fights with big name opponents such as Martinez in the future.
I expect Barker to come out pumped up and beat Geale in this fight. I just feel that the time is right for Barker who has put all his injuries behind him to show how good he is. He has learnt from his fight against with Martinez, where, by his own admission, he gave Martinez too much respect.
In this fight Barker will yes respect Geale but not too much. He will truly believe that he is a better fighter than Geale and that he is going to win.
I personally am very excited about both this fight and the prospect of Barker winning a world title. He is a top man who has had to go through a lot in recent years and deserves all the success he has. If he does win then there is the potential for huge domestic fights.
There could be fights with the likes of Martin Murray, Mathew Macklin and Andy Lee. These would be massive domestic fights that would really grab the attention of the public and would be great to see our middleweights pitting themselves against each other.
There is also the potential of a fight with Gennady Golovkin who looks to be a great boxer, a fight with Julio Chavez Jr or even a rematch with Sergio Martinez.
It is an exciting time for Darren Barker and a booming British Middleweight division and I am going to sit-back and enjoy it!
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