Martin Murray wants British clash against Darren Barker
By Scott Gilfoid: #1 WBA, #8 IBF, #9 WBC, Martin Murray (25-1-1, 11 KO’s) is hoping that he can get a fight against newly crowned IBF middleweight champion Darren Barker (26-1, 16 KO’s) in a fight that would be a big deal in the UK, but not for the rest of the world.
Barker recently beat former IBF 160 lb. champion Daniel Geale last Saturday night by a controversial 12 round split decision in which the fight was decided by one of the judges giving Barker the 12th round. The thing is Geale totally dominated the 12th round, and had Barker clearly hurt.
Barker is now supposed to be fighting his mandatory challenger Felix Sturm next, but Barker’s promoter Eddie Hearn has made no secret of the fact that he’d like to see Barker face Murray in an all British clash.
The issue now at hand is whether the International Boxing Federating will allow Barker to bypass his mandatory challenger Sturm in order for Barker to have a UK clash against Murray, a fighter who is coming off a loss to Sergio Martinez in his last fight in April.
Murray said “It’s up to Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport whether it can happen, but I can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t…I know we both want the fight. I don’t know what the situation is with his mandatory.”
It sounds like Hearn may look to maneuver around the Sturm fight in order to match Barker with Murray. I feel sorry for Sturm if that happens, because he’s been waiting for a while to get a shot at the IBF title, and it would be a tragedy for a guy that was just beaten in Martin Murray getting another world title shot without doing anything in between. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. I mean, when you get whipped by a champion, you’re supposed to redeem yourself by winning 6-8 fights to get back in range for another crack at the title. But when you get guys getting back to back title shots after having been beaten on the first try, it just seems wrong.
We just saw the Matthew Macklin get world title shots in 3 out of his last 4 fights in the past 2 years with Macklin getting beaten in all three of the fight. Why Macklin was allowed to keep fighting for world titles following losses is unclear to me. I know if I was the WBA or WBC, I’d have said no to those fights being sanctioned.
Murray pretty much just covers up with his clam shell defense, and I don’t think it would be a good fight between him and Barker. If HBO wants to televise a fight between those two then more power to them, but I don’t like the idea of seeing someone just holding up his gloves like a sparring partner for 12 rounds looking to just blocks shots all night. That’s boring as heck. HBO needs to pressure Hearn and Barker to step up a couple levels and face Gennady Golovkin or Peter Quillin in a unification match. But I don’t see Hearn or Barker saying yes to fighting either of those guys.
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