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Darren Barker Set To Fight For World Title Again In 2012

Despite losing effort against Martinez, brave Brit Barker is wanted by Chavez Jr and Geale

Barnet's Darren Barker has been offered the opportunity to fight for two versions of the world middleweight title, according to his promoter, Matchroom's Eddie Hearn. Barker gave the mighty Sergio Martinez all he could handle for eight action-packed rounds during his WBC diamond middleweight title fight last weekend, before the Argentinian pulled away, scoring an 11th round knockout. Now both Mexico's WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Australia's Daniel Geale, the IBF titleholder, are keen to face Barker in title bouts.

"I know how good Barker is, and I knew even if he lost he would come out of it smelling of roses and that's exactly what happened," said Hearn at the weekend. "Now we've had two offers for a world title fight for Barker from Geale and we're talking to Chavez as well. That's possibly Geale in London and maybe Chavez in Mexico. These are just people contacting us saying 'would you, how much?', but automatically we're now in a great position. I don't think there's another middleweight in the world that would have beaten him (Barker) in the Martinez fight. Geale I feel would be comfortable (for Barker), Chavez would be comfortable. (WBO champion Felix) Sturm would be tough because he's quite strong and can bang, but I feel Darren could outbox him totally."
Aside from Sergio Martinez, who is one of the best fighters pound for pound in the world today, the middleweight division, while competitive, is devoid of the strength in depth of the welterweight, light middleweight and super middleweight classes. Many regard Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, son of one of Mexico's greatest ever fighters, as a manufactured world champion. Although undefeated in 44 fights, Chavez Jr has never faced anyone of any great credibility. 
30 year old Danielle Geale (26-1, 15 ko's) is an aggressive two-fisted fighter who surprised many when he upset Germany's Sebastian Sylvester for the IBF title in May of this year. An exciting, crowd please, Geale is deceptively clever, and doesn't get hit anything like he should, but he had to fight out of his skin to beat the tough but limited Sylvester. 

The 6'1" tall Barker (23-1, 14 ko's) displayed good boxing ability and a great chin against Martinez, keeping the fight close with his tight defense, ramrod left jab and stunning right cross. Barker bloodied Martinez's nose was early, and by the middle rounds had many at ringside believing that an upset could be on the cards.

Barker looked destined to go the distance, but an accumulation of vicious punches during the 10th round set him up for his collapse in the 11th. Nevertheless, Barker emerged from the Martinez defeat with his reputation enhanced, and at 29 years old, he looks more than capable of still making a major impact in the middleweight division. Should Barker get another title tilt against the likes of Chavez Jr, Geale or even the experienced but aging long time WBA champion Felix Sturm, he would be an even bet to come home with the title belt.

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Darren Barker Set To Fight For World Title Again In 2012

Despite losing effort against Martinez, brave Brit Barker is wanted by Chavez Jr and Geale

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