Hennessy Sports9th December, 2008

Darren Barker has been left raring to go in his Commonwealth Middleweight Title defence on Saturday after sparring with new WBC Super-Middleweight Champion Carl Froch.

Undefeated Barker (Barnet, England) makes his second defence against Jason McKay (Banbridge, Northern Ireland) at the Brentwood Centre on Saturday 13thDecember 2008. Co feature on the bill, Brian Magee (Belfast, Northern Ireland) challenges Steve Maguire (Glenrothes, Scotland) for the Vacant British Super-Middleweight Title, both fights will be shown live on ITV4 from 8.40pm.

The 2002 Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist is confident McKay will not wreck his plans of challenging for the European Title next year after sparring with fellow Hennessy Sports boxer Froch (Nottingham, England), who became the new WBC World Champion on Saturday by unanimously outpointing Jean Pascal (Quebec, Canada) after one of the best global fights of 2008.

"I've been sparring with Carl Froch ahead of this fight and I sparred with Mikkel Kessler last year," said Barker.

"They are both World Super-Middleweight champions and they were blinding spars, and I know what it takes to get to that level.

"It was great working with Carl and there was a great buzz in our training camp at the Breaffy House Hotel in County Mayo, Ireland. I also reckon Carl has got what it takes to be the top man in that division.

"McKay is very tall and rangy so he will make it difficult for me. Andy Lee is a very good fighter and he gave Jason a hard time, but it's hard to judge Jason on that performance because Andy can make anyone look bad. He took the Lee fight at short notice but he has had a long time to prepare for this date.

"I believe I'm going to come out on top and then I can go for a European title. Winning the European title is one of my dreams, definitely one of my short term goals."

Barker believes he has what it takes to go all the way to the top, winning a traditional title on route to following his Hennessy Sports stable-mate Froch to world title glory.

"My long term goal is to go all the way and this time next year I would like to also have the European title in my possession," said Barker.

Tickets are available from the Brentwood Centre Box Office on 01277 262616 or via the web