The much anticipated fight between Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker is set to go ahead this year after purse bids were put out by the European Boxing Union.
Macklin (right) is sanctioned to defend his European middleweight title against Barker in a fight to find out who is the best middleweight in Europe and Britain.
The pair were supposed to meet in Birmingham in September, on Frank Warren’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ show, only for then European champ Barker to pull out injured and then give up the title, with assurance he gets a chance to regain it when fit.
Mackin went on to claim the vacant title at the LG Arena, before making a successful defence in Liverpool just before Christmas.
Barker (below) as not fought since April 2010 so could be a year out of the ring since his winning the title against Affif Belghecham.
Frank Warren would almost certainly be looking to secure this fight and will make a substantial bid to showcase Macklin v Barker on one of his big 2011 boxing cards that are planned.
This fight really is one to look forward to and boxing fans will be licking there lips at the prospect of the rival middleweights clashing for the British, European and commonwealth titles, in a throwback middleweight encounter that we haven’t witnessed for a while!
Macklin though is thought to have designs on giving up the European belt if Warren can get him a world title shot, which is a possibility given Macklin’s high world ranking and European champion status. This scenario would then mean Barker contesting the vacant title again. But Macklin will want to face Barker to surely secure bragging rights in the battle of the best, both want to answer the question and that is why this fight must happen, and at the moment there isn’t a cigarette paper between them.
If Macklin did go onto win the world title, then a first defence against Barker really would be something and would add more kudos to the fight. Either way Macklin vs Barker is a fight that will light up British boxing in 2011.