Barker's big night

Barnet Today Lee Husson21st May, 2009

DARREN BARKER can take a massive step towards realising his dream of becoming British middleweight champion this weekend as he gears up for the biggest fight of his professional boxing career.

Undefeated Barker will go toe-to-toe with Midlands rival Darren McDermott at the Watford Coliseum on Saturday night in a final eliminator for the prestigious Lonsdale Belt, a prize which the Barnet boxer has been gunning for since he turned professional back in 2004.

The bout doubles up as a defence of Barker's Commonwealth title, and the supremely confident 26-year-old believes McDermott is in for a world of trouble as he stands in his way of fulfiling his destiny.

"This is definitely the biggest fight of my career," Barker said.

"It has always been my dream to be the British champion, and it is a big opportunity for me to realise that. This is what I have been building towards.

"On paper McDermott is probably my toughest opponent to date, but I will definitely do the business."

If Barker continues his rapid rise to the top then Matthew Macklin, current British title holder, is next in his sights.

"It's going to be a big year for me, and beating McDermott will get it off to a great start," he added. "Once I get this under my belt Macklin will have to face me before September, so I'm looking to really end the year on a high.

"The British title will open so many doors, and then the European title will be well in my sights."

Barker's preparations for the bout certainly could not have gone much better. The current Commonwealth king sparred with reigning super middleweight WBC world champion Carl Froch in preparation for Froch's successful world title defence against former undisputed champion Jermain Taylor last month, and Barker believes that his training will help to give him the edge on Saturday night.

"I did about 20 to 30 rounds with Carl, and as far as preparation goes you can't beat that," he said. "It has put me in good stead, and you learn so much just being in there with a world champion.

"My training has been spot on and I'm in fantastic shape. All I can say is that he is in big trouble."

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