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Barker defeats Geale; Kiko Martinez stops Jhonatan Romero

geale3By Jim Dower: British middleweight contender Darren Barker (26-1, 16 KO’s) survived a bad 6th round knockdown to go and outwork IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale (29-2, 15 KO’s) in earning a 12 round split decision win on Saturday night at the Revel Resort, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. The final judges scores were 114-113 for Geale, 114-113 and 116-111 for Barker.

Barker landed the harder shots, and he was the busier fighter all night long. Geale moved around a lot, and used a lot of feints, but he didn’t throw enough punches to make a case that he should have won.

In the 6th, Geale dropped Barker with a hard left to the midsection. Barker looked to be in bad pain, and he stayed down until the count of 8. Barker was then able to come back in the round and control the last 15 seconds of action.

Following the knockdown, Barker dominated rounds 7-11 with his better work rate and power. In the 12th, Geale hurt Barker with a hard right hand to the head, but he was unable to finish him off.

It’s curious why Geale stopped throwing body shots after knocking Barker down with a body punch in the 6th. Normally when fighters drop their opponents with body shots, they continue to throw to the body, but for some reason Geale didn’t do that. He threw almost exclusively head shots in rounds 7-12, and his trainer wasn’t telling him to go back to the body.

After the fight, Barker wouldn’t say what his future plans are in terms of his next fight, but his trainer previously talked about wanting Barker to fight one of the UK fighters Andy Lee, Martin Murray, Matthew Macklin, Billy Joe Saunders or John Ryder next. Those would be fights that would be for domestic consumption, and not likely to be appealing for fans outside of the UK. #2 IBF, Felix Sturm figures that he’ll be facing Barker next, but that’s likely not going to happen unless the International Boxing Federation forces Barker to take that fight.

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Spain’s Kiko Martinez (29-4, 21 KO’s) stopped IBF super bantamweight champion Jhonatan Romero (23-1, 12 KO’s) in the 6th round to capture his IBF 122 lb. title. Martinez wore Romero down with pressure, and hard body shots. Despite recently winning the IBF title in his previous fight, Romero looked very green, and showed no ability to fight on the inside. He had good power, but he was beaten up badly by Martinez when he was able to catch Romero against the ropes.

Romero took a bad beating in the 1st round when he retreated to the ropes and attempted to fight Martinez from that area. In the following rounds, Romerto used continuous movement to foil a lot of Martinez’s attacks. However, Martinez was able to catch Romero against the ropes enough times in each round to make a mess of his face, and tire him out.

In the 6th, Martinez pounded Romero with hard shots to the head and powerful body punches while he was trapped against the ropes. A bleeding and battered Romero continued to fight while taking a beating from Martinez until the referee David Steele stepped in and halted the fight at 2:40 of the 6th round.

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Other boxing action on the card:

Jonathan Maicelo KO 10 Alejandro Rodriguez
Thomas Dulorme TKO 8 Francisco Figueroa

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