Barker Confident Ahead of Sturm Bout
'Dazzling' Darren Barker goes into this weekends highly anticipated bout hoping to retain his IBF world middleweight title when he faces off against former WBA champion Felix Sturm in Stuttgart
"Why it's an important fight is, it's the old and the new," he told skysports.com.
Barker will be taking confidence from the fact that Sturm recently lost to Daniel Geale a man who Barker went on to be on a points decision to claim the IBF strap.
"It is me putting an end to Felix Sturm's career, as harsh as that sounds, and letting my reign start. I'm looking forward to a long reign as world champion.
"He's one of the old guard if you like. He was the champion for about six years, a great fighter who I will never be naive enough to take lightly, but I'm extremely confident that it's my time.
"That's not me being nasty or anything like that, by saying he will call his career a day.
"He's been there, he's fought everyone, he's been champion for years. I think when I beat him, that will be enough. He's got enough money, he's achieved lots in the sport. It will be easy for him to hang up his gloves."
Sturm has been involved in some controversial fights, mainly against British opponents with Matthew Macklin being on the wrong end in a defeat and Martin Murray getting a draw when it had looked as if both had done enough to secure a world title. Barker has admitted the lure of a big payday along with his confidence in getting the W convinced him to take this fight on.
"Felix Sturm is one of the old guard if you like. He was the champion for about six years, a great fighter who I will never be naive enough to take lightly, but I'm extremely confident that it's my time."
The champion is looking to enhance his reputation by winning away in Germany and proving he is the real deal and deserves to be World Champion.
"A win's a win at the end of the day, but you do get a lot of credit going abroad," he said.
"I mean I look at the appreciation, the credit that Carl Froch has got from defending and winning titles abroad, but at the end of the day the win's the most important thing. It doesn't say he won and it was in such and such."
The man from Barnet has been studying and assessing the German to see what he has to counter and what he can exploit.
"Aside from my skill and my boxing ability, I think the belief of winning a world title, believing I can do it and actually achieving it. I take massive confidence from that into this fight," he said.
"I've watched a lot of Felix Sturm in the build-up to the Geale fight. I watched a lot of that fight, so I've been watching him for a while.
"Tony Sims my trainer, he's watched loads and we're prepared. We've come up with a game plan, if executed properly on the night, it will be a shutout."