Dazzling Darren Barker embarks on his second assault on a middleweight World Title when he takes on Australian Daniel Geale for the IBF championship in Atlantic City this Saturday, August 17th.
Barkers previous world title challenge ended in a knockout defeat against a man dubbed the king of the middleweights, Argentinian, Sergio Martinez, as he suffered a perforated eardrum in round 11. However, the Barnet boxer acquitted himself well early on and performed admirably in a fight in which he was expected to be destroyed.
Since suffering his first loss Barker has bounced back in style with crushing demolition jobs over domestic rival Kerry Hope and Italian champion Simone Rotolo, fights in which we have seen world class power and a more ruthless streak to his approach. Perhaps last time against Martinez he lacked the self belief that he could win whereas this time he’s making all the right noises that suggests he truly feels he can seize the belt.
Australian, Daniel Geale, will want to impress the American networks on his US debut. He is known for his fierce tempo and fitness to fight hard deep into the 12th round, and willingness to throw leather in fast and accurate combinations from an orthodox stance. He will look to be the busier fighter and outwork Barker in a bid to keep the Englishman thinking about his defence rather than attack.
For me Barker will be keen not to become a nearly man and this will be his best chance to become a world champion against an evenly matched opponent. He is the underdog and odds off representing better value and I believe he possesses the greater punching power and is ready to execute. If he can hurt Geale or score knockdowns he has a great chance but musn’t let the fight drift away from him by letting his opponent nick the rounds.