Darren Barker says he is one fight away from realising his dream after it was announced the Barnet-born boxer will take on Australian IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale in August., writes Dev Trehan.
The 31-year-old stopped Italian Simone Rotolo in his last outing at Wembley Arena in March to claim the IBF Inter-Continental middleweight title.
It was his second consecutive victory since returning from an injury that had kept him out of the ring for a year.
Matchroom Boxing 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,” Barker told Sky Sports. “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.”
Barker has only been beaten once in his 26-fight professional career. That came against Martinez in 2011 but Hearn is confident Barker will this time claim world title gold.
“Not everyone knows the story about Darren Barker but those that do understand it when I say that few deserve this more,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“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