Boxing - Barker to challenge Australia's Geale for world title

Darren Barker will challenge IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on August 17.

Boxing - Barker: I truly believe I am better than Geale

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British boxer Darren Barker in the Wembley changing rooms (photo: Lawrence Lustig)

Barker fights for a world title for the second time after his brave challenge against Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City in October 2011.

After a period out through injury, Barker has blasted away Kerry Hope and Simone Rotolo in back-to-back stoppages and now faces the Aussie champion in the summer.

“This is a golden opportunity for me and I feel it's my time to shine,” said Barker.

“It's been a tough journey for me but I'm one fight away from realising my dream and becoming world Champion. I've dedicated my entire life to this sport and since the Sergio Martinez fight I really feel like I've grown as a fighter. I can't wait to bring that IBF world title back to the UK.”

Geale is fresh off of his redemption win over Anthony Mundine in their January rematch, and while Geale acknowledges that Barker is a tough challenge, but is quick to remind everyone that he has been matched tough for the past few fights in a row.

This will be the first time the Australian superstar has fought on American soil.

“Barker has to be one of the toughest opponents I’ve faced on paper, but I’ve been in the ring with world titlists and it remains to be seen whether or not Barker can offer up anything extra,” said Geale.

“He is a top rated fighter amongst 160 pounders, but in the middleweight division that’s saying a lot because the entire division is dangerous. A guy in the top 10 at middleweight would be top three or four in almost any other division.”

“Fighting in the United States for the first time is truly an honour.” Geale continued. “I’m going to give the fans a great night of boxing while representing my country with dignity.”

Geale mentioned that he hasn’t thought much about a game plan for his opponent, but he will prepare accordingly.

While he has yet to put together a strategy on Barker, Geale is familiar with his work, specifically against Martinez and he knows that the fighter that steps in the ring with will likely be better than the one that gave Martinez so much trouble.

He said: “I’m going to have my hands full, that’s for sure. Barker gave Martinez all sorts of fits, but he is an even better fighter now and I think he has improved a great deal since the Martinez fight.

I’m not sure Martinez could beat Barker now, maybe Martinez planned on fighting Barker before he got too good? I want the fights that will give me the biggest challenges and I plan on handling Barker better than anyone has, it won’t be easy but that’s what I’ll attempt to do."

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