Barker wants Bite at the Big Time

Hennessy Sports15th May, 2009

"Dazzling" Darren Barker will aim to improve his already impressive CV at the Watford Colosseum on May 23rd when he makes the third defence of his Commonwealth Middleweight title against Darren McDermott.

The Hennessy Sports event will be live on ITV4 providing fight fans with another opportunity to track the progress of one of British boxing's most exciting talents.

Barker lifted Commonwealth honours in the amateur ranks winning Gold in Manchester in 2002 and has since gone on to win the Commonwealth professional title as well compiling a 19 fight unbeaten record in the process.

Aside from those achievements his CV also includes glowing references from World Super Middleweight champions, Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler. Both men have shared the ring with Barker in sparring and believe that the Barnet stylist might just have what it takes to join them on the World stage.

Barker is plotting a route to World title glory starting with his Commonwealth title defence against McDermott which will also double as a final eliminator for Matthew Macklin's British title.

Barker hopes that eliminating his two leading domestic rivals will leave him free to broaden his horizons by the end of this year.

"Obviously after I get my hands on the British title I'd love to move on to the European and World scene but first things first and I've got two potentially dangerous domestic fights to take care of before I can leave the British scene behind."

While not looking beyond his assignment with McDermott on Saturday week Barker believes he can make a serious impact on the World stage. "The middleweight division at world level is very open right now and I don't see anything out there to worry me," said the 26-year-old. "When you spar guys like Froch and Kessler it shows you just what you need to compete at the highest level and I honestly believe I'm capable of that.

"I travelled to Denmark to spar with Kessler a couple of years back and he's a wonderful fighter but I felt I held my own with him. I've also sparred Carl on a regular basis and it does wonders for you because it keeps you very sharp and it's a real confidence booster because you know you're in there with a World Champ.

"You have to be very focused when you're in there with Carl because he's a big, strong Super Middleweight and he can punish you every time you make a mistake so you're always switched on in the spars."

Having traded punches with both men Barker is in the perfect position to evaluate a possible Super middleweight unification matchup between WBC kingpin, Froch and WBA Champ, Kessler.

"I think it would be a fantastic fight," predicted Barker. "They are both amazing fighters and the two best guys I've ever shared a ring with. It would be a fantastic one to watch but I'd fancy Carl to prevail if it ever comes off. He proved against Jermain Taylor that he's never beaten and he always finds a way to win so it's very hard to pick against him even against somebody as good as Kessler is."

Baker V McDermott headlines an exciting night of boxing at the Watford Colosseum on May 23rd. In the chief support bout Matthew Thirlwall battles it out with George Hillyard in a scheduled 10 round contest while the undercard also features unbeaten Heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury alongside hot prospects Bradley Evans, Steve O'Meara, Steve Barnes and the pro debut of Phill Fury (subject to Board approval). Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.

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