Boxing: Darren Barker ready to fulfil world title dream

Darren Barker will get the world title shot he desperately craves after Matchroom Boxing announced he will fight Australian Darren Geale for the IBF Middleweight Belt on August 17th.

The Barnet-born boxer impressed on his last outing at Wembley Arena in March, stopping Italian Simone Rotolo to claim the IBF Inter-Continental middleweight title.

And promoter Eddie Hearn has rewarded Barker with a summertime championship bout against Geale at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

“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.”

Defeat against Martinez in 2011 is the only loss in Barker’s 26-fight professional career, but Hearn is confident Barker will become a world champion this time round.

“Not everyone knows the story about Darren Barker but those that do understand it when I say that few deserve this more,” said Hearn.

“This is the fight that Darren wanted so badly and now he's got it. This is a wonderful fight between two incredibly gifted middleweights, it's a pure 50-50 fight and I know Darren is going to bring it home.”

Geale, the former Commonwealth Games welterweight gold-medallist, makes his US debut in the fight but insists he is not fazed ahead of the showdown with Barker.

“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,” he said.

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