“Dazzling” Darren Barker says he will make middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez pay for under estimating him, and plans to make his size advantage count on Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and bring the WBC World Diamond middleweight title back to England. Unbeaten London Middleweight Darren Barker will be up against one of the best fighters around when he takes on the American based Argentinian hero, but the Matchroom Sport promoted boxer is excited about fighting in the States for the first time and is bouncing with confidence going into the biggest fight of his boxing career. Should Barker the current European champion, upset all the odds and defeat the 36 year-old Martinez to claim the scalp of the best middleweight in the world. It will be a dream come true a monumental victory and a fitting tribute to his brother Gary, who sadly died in a car accident aged 19, five years ago this December. Gary was also a successful amateur boxer who had won the London ABA’s a couple of month’s before his untimely death and was also destined for the top in the sport. Barker was never going to box again after spiraling into a drunk fuelled depression after Gary’s death. But the courage of the man and his burning ambitions to continue on and get his boxing career on track was admirable. But it was a long road to fully recover and accept Gary was gone. The fight with Martinez will not be as hard a battle, as the one he has already fought! He returned to trainer Tony Simms’ Essex gym after a few months but he did not feel right. He thought he would have no choice but to hang the gloves up. Not only a friend but a close confidant, Simms asked Darren to meet with Bruce Lloyd, a therapist who specialised in helping emotionally broken people, mentally get through traumatic experiences. Darren agreed to see the specialist and after a few painful sessions, Darren began to mend himself and realised his future lay in boxing and continued with his career. He went onto win the British, Commonwealth and European titles and remain unbeaten. With a record of 23 fights, 14 coming by KO, Barker now has the chance of the big one. A chance to ‘Dazzle’ to beat one of the best fighters in boxing and become the No1 middleweight in the world. – And what an epic story it would be if the nice guy from Barnett can do it.
And Barker says he is ready to do just that on his American debut! – To shock the world and do what most experts think is the impossible and dethroning Martinez!“I have massive respect for him as a fighter but he has the title that I have always wanted and I’m coming to take it.” said Barker. “Fighting in America for the first time is really exciting too and I hope that my loyal fans will come over in droves to be a part of the biggest night of my career. I am in boxing to test myself against the very best in the business and I believe I can shock the world. “Martinez is talking about the other fights that he wants to have, well, he is in for a big shock on October 1st. “He is underestimating me and if he wants to do that, fine and I will make him pay for taking me lightly and looking past what is right in front of him, I’m fighter who has the hunger, the spirit and the skill to beat him.” added a determined Barker. Barker arrived in America on Sunday to acclimatize and prepare for his last week of training before the big night and the relaxed challenger spoke to the waiting press with an air of confidence and belief. And now as fight time approaches Barker is fully focused on the job at hand and fully aware of the task before him. “When you look Sergio’s last three performances against Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and Sergiy Dzinziruk, they are the fights of a true great of boxing and he looked great doing it. But I believe that I’m the proper Middleweight of the two of us. “I’m bigger than him and I’m stronger than him and I think that I can make that count on the night. There’s nothing more dangerous than a hungry fighter, and I am exactly that. “I’m 29 and he’s 36, I’ve got the ambition and desire behind me to become a world champion and everything is ahead of me just waiting there for the taking, which is what I plan to do in Atlantic City.” “I cannot wait to get in the ring with Sergio Martinez,” Barker added.
Darren Barker – ‘The Path to Sergio Martinez’
Fights: 23 Record: 23 – 0 – 0 Last 3 Fights: Domenico Spada W UD 12 Affif Belghecham W UD 12 Danny Butler W TKO 7 Nickname: Dazzling Trainer: Tony Sims Promoter: Matchroom Sports. Date of Birth: 19/05/1982 Lives: Barnet World Ranking: 8
By Chris Maylett