Barker ready to hunt down Macklin

Hennessy Sports28th May, 2009

Darren Barker wants to prove beyond doubt that he's the best Middleweight in Britain by adding Matthew Macklin's British title to his Commonwealth crown. The undefeated Barnet man was punch perfect in defending his Commonwealth title at the Watford Colosseum on Saturday night as he scored a one punch stoppage win over Darren McDermott in a fight which doubled as a final eliminator for the British title.

Barker believes his clinical fourth round victory over McDermott sent out a real statement ahead of a major domestic showdown with Macklin. "I think I proved a lot of doubters wrong on Saturday night," said Barker.

"I know there were some people tipping McDermott to 'expose' me but I knew all along that I was on a different level to him and I think I answered a lot of questions with that win. McDermott's a tough man, he's a big middleweight, he's physically strong and has a great chin but I think that final right hand would have put any middleweight in the world over."

Now Barker has his sights set on Macklin who won the British title in March by stopping Wayne Elcock. "I take my hat off to Macklin, he did well against Elcock and full credit to him but it will be a whole different ball game when he fights me.

"Macklin said that his fight with Elcock was all about levels and I believe our fight will be all about levels as well. I truly believe that I'm World class and in a different league to Macklin. Our records in the amateurs and the pro's prove that."

Barker was a Commonwealth Gold medallist in the unpaid ranks and a vastly experienced international competitor. "Macklin says he's mixed at a higher level but I was in a whole other league as an amateur," explained the 27-year-old. "I'm the better boxer, I'm much bigger at the weight and I proved on Saturday night that I have the power to take people out with one punch."

The Chelsea fanatic went on to say, "Ultimately I believe I'm a premier league fighter and I don't think Macklin can say that."

While Barker wants a showdown with Macklin as soon as possible he's concerned that the fight may not happen. "I just hope that we can get the fight on now. You get people saying that we should wait another 12 or 18 months and build it into a bigger fight but what's the point in waiting. That's why most of the fights that people want to see in boxing never end up happening. It's a massive clash as it is, a British and Commonwealth title fight with both belts on the line so hopefully the Board will force the fight and we can get it on around September or October."

With plans already in place to establish domestic superiority before the end of 2009 Barker hopes to move on to the World stage next year. "You never want to look too far ahead but I believe the middleweight division at world level is going to be wide open in the next 12 months or so and I believe I'll be peaking at just the right time to take advantage of that.

"Boxing is my life and I've dedicated myself to it and I truly believe I can compete at the very highest level in the sport. I've watched Carl Froch go to the U.S. and beat the likes of Jermain Taylor and they are the kind of occasions I aspire to and hopefully nights like those are not too far away for me either."

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