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Article: Barker Confident Ahead of Sturm Bout

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    Barker Confident Ahead of Sturm Bout

    3 Comments by Kurt Robinson Published on 12-04-2013 11:20 AM
    '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."


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  3. #2
    2012 Hall of Famer El Cholo's Avatar
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    I'm pleased for Barker that he won the world title even though I had Geale shading the fight, it could have went either way, personally I felt Geale threw it away after the knock down, he took round 7 off, I couldn't believe it.

    I'm expecting another close fight, Sturm is the not the same fighter but his jab is still potent and he has a solid enough chin and he will conserve some energy for going down the stretch.

    Tony Sims has admitted its all about the money now, that is the only reason this fight is in Germany, Barker is getting a career high payday for this one, one that if looked after and managed correctly would last his family a very long time.

    Its boxer vs boxer and I think Barker will probably shade it on points.

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  4. #3
    Established Pro Ghost with a hammer's Avatar
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    I think Barker will win but we know Sturm tends to get the nod in Germany from the judges. Barker really sorted his fitness out for Geal, so as long as he is still full fit (big if with Darren and as a money fight with 2nd fight in Uk already made would he pull out if not 100%?) he should win. Sturm is not the fighter he was, so this could be a last couple of big pay days for him.

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    I can see why Matchroom are taking a calculated risk with Barker and packing him off to Germany for this one. Not only is Barker riding the crest of a wave after his fine win over Geale (I thought he took it 115-112 for the record) but Sturm is clearly a fighter in decline and some would argue there for the taking. I don't necessarily think he's that far gone but he is slipping no doubt.

    If I was Matchroom then I'd be 'cashing in' on Darren as well. I don't mean that in a strictly negative sense but I think Kurt raised a valid point on the pod that I agree with, in that Barker has a long running history of injuries, especially a recurring back complaint, and has pulled out of fights in the past and sustained long periods of inactivity. He's not getting any better/younger/fitter and will be handsomely paid for going abroad. He's also not a future star like Campbell or Joshua who needs protecting for the long term.

    If the fight is close (which I think it will be) then the talk is of a signed rematch in the UK which is a good fallback, even if Sturm vacates then Barker will be able to keep hold of his title or win it back against the next available contender should he get beaten in Germany.

    I tentatively side with Barker to win but I think it will razor thin either way and possibly a split or majority to the eventual winner.

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