Boxing - Barker ready for big summer showdown

Darren Barker is aiming for a big summer showdown after he dismantled Simone Rotolo in four rounds at Wembley Arena.

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Boxing - Barker ready for big summer showdown
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Darren Barker en route to victory over Simone Rotolo (Lawrence Lustig)

A beautiful uppercut from Barker rocked the Italian in the second half of the opener and he hit the deck as Barker dug in a body shot after picking some terrific shots in a calculated assault.

Rotolo survived the round but was shaken by spiteful work in the second and third rounds from the former European champion who moved into top gear in the fourth round, hurting the Italian champion on several occasions, and ultimately forcing him to retire on his stool.

Barker was clinical and powerful in the ring as he boxed for the second time in three months, and the new IBF Intercontinental middleweight champion is eyeing big fights with the likes of Andy Lee, Matthew Macklin, Martin Murray and Peter Quillin.

“I want to fight these world class fighters, whether they’re world champions or domestic guys,” said Barker.

“It's exciting times as there are big fights out there for me and I'll get back in the gym in a couple of weeks and Tony Sims and Eddie Hearn will sit down and sort that out for me.

“I'm game and I'll fight anyone, I proved that when I went to America and fought Sergio Martinez and I'm ready for a big fight now.

“I haven't fought twice in three months since I started, but I feel so good right now, I was so sharp in the gym and training has been going well. I'm buzzing, I feel like a young man again and I don't want to be out of the gym.”

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