Barker-Martinez: He’ll feel my power – Darren
By William Mackay: Former EBU middleweight champion Darren Barker (23-0, 14 KO’s) is stepping it up against 1st tier opposition for the first time in his career next week when he faces WBC Diamond middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KO’s) at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
This will be the first time that the 29-year-old Barker has ever fought in the United States, and it will likely be the last time he fights there if he gets knocked out like a lot of boxing fans think he will. But don’t tell that to Barker, because he thinks he’s going to be the one doing the knocking out in this fight.
Barker said this to Sky Sports Ringside: “I’m going to prove that the underdog can cause big upsets. I’ve always had a knack for fighting southpaws. I was sparring with them everyday and I developed a knack for beating southpaws. That’s another reason why I wanted to fight Martinez. We’ve come up with a plan to beat him. It’s just a matter of executing it on that night. He [Martinez] started boxing when he was 20. I started boxing when I was 12. So I have the pedigree there. If anything, I’m the better boxer. I’m going to win this fight and then take [Matthew] Macklin on.”
What Barker fails to mention is that the southpaws he’s done well against are nowhere near as good as Martinez. Barker has been facing C level southpaws and he’s trying to compare that with taking on Martinez. You can throw out Barker’s previous success against southpaws because it won’t mean a thing against Martinez. He’s a 1st tier southpaw, not a 3rd tier fighter. And Barker’s experience really doesn’t matter either. Martinez is a great athlete and he was smart enough and coordinated enough to learn the sport quickly. For some fighters, it takes them a lot longer to develop skills and learn the game. Martinez is one of the smarter and more gifted fighters that picked it up fast.
It’s doubtful that Barker will get the fight against Macklin because he’s probably not going to be interested in facing Barker if he gets blasted out by Martinez. It’s going to be back to the old drawing board for Barker.