Feature Story

Darren Barker: I’m going to be the champion

By Arvin Nundloll
Photos: Wojciech Kubik

IBF #3 middlewqweight contender Darren Barker (25-1, 16 KOs) took time out to speak to FightNews about his upcoming IBF middleweight title shot against world champion Daniel Geale (29-1, 15 KOs) this Saturday at the Revel Casino-Hotel, Atlantic City’s newest and largest casino resort. The bout will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.

How does it feel to be back headlining a HBO show?

This is what I’ve worked towards since I was a boy, since I was 12 so it’s been 19 years and it has all led to this moment. It’ll be a bittersweet feeling actually being in Atlantic City, as you rightfully said I’m 0-2 if you’re counting my loss against Martinez and I was in Lee Purdy’s corner against Devon Alexander, it’ll be third time lucky.

What do you think of Geale’s recent opposition?

The only stand out name on my record is Martinez and he’ll go down as one of the great middleweight greats of all time. I take so much away from that defeat, I know what I’m capable of now, I know what class I belong in and rightfully so you say about Geale’s opponents. They ain’t got nothing on me.

Everything has gone to plan, it’s been fantastic. I know it’s a cliché and you hear it all the time but I can honestly say that training has been absolutely (out of this world), you know I couldn’t have trained an harder, mentally I’m in the zone.

Are you still carrying any signs of your past injuries?

That’s why I’m probably feeling so good about myself. I’ve gone through two camps, the last fight I’ve had and this fight so I’ve had back to back training camps with no injuries. it’s obviously it’s doing my body a world of good and my mental state as well, that coupled with the experience that I’ve got fighting Martinez I think it’s my time

How have you improved since you fought Martinez?

To be honest it’s believing in myself. The mental side, when I came here last time it’s as if I was saying I could beat Martinez but I was hiding behind the words, I don’t know how much I truly believed it but after putting the performance that I did, I belong in world class now and I take that into this fight now with the belief that I’m going to be the champion.

What are Geale’s biggest threats in the ring?

At the end of the day he’s a world champion. They don’t give them out for nothing but he’s beaten guys who are washed up. He’s beaten Sturm and Mundine but these are guys who are over the hill but he’s still beaten them, so I have to give him respect. But it’s not about Geale, it’s about Darren Barker and what I’m going to do. It’s about me executing my game plan on the night and I’m pretty sure, no, 100% sure I’ll be taking the world title back to the UK.

How has sparing and training been?

There’s been no injuries, they’re usually what people want to hear “oh, are you injured?” no I’m not, I’m in fantastic shape and it’s about getting in there now, it’s a waiting game.

* * * * *

IBF Middleweight Champion, Daniel “Real Deal” Geale (29-1, 15 KOs) vs. Darren “Dazzling” Barker (25-1, 16 KOs) will take place at the Revel Casino-Hotel, Atlantic City’s newest and largest casino resort. The bout will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark® beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT and on Sky Sports HD in the UK.

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