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Darren Barker might retire after 2nd round stoppage loss

barker783By Scott Gilfoid: After being stopped in the 2nd round last Saturday night in his loss to Felix Sturm (39-3-2, 18 KO’s) in Stuttgart, Germany, Britain’s Darren Barker (26-2, 16 KO’s) is thinking about possibly hanging up the gloves due to a hip injury he suffered in the fight. Barker doesn’t want to have to go through the hassle of surgery again given that he’s already gone that route before.

Having his hip operated on will likely shelf Barker a number of months, and that will make it difficult for him to be able to fight a rematch against Sturm by next Summer. Barker has a rematch clause in his contract with Sturm, but in order to use he would have to face him by next Summer.

Barker said to the Express “I’ve got a bit of thinking to do…It’s a shame because my body can’t really hold up to tough training camps. It could be that the writing is on the wall. I don’t want to go under the knife again. I felt a twinge in my hio in the first round so I knew I had to stand there and trade with him.”

Well there it is. Barker appears to be leaning in the direction of retirement from the sport. With Barker mentioning that his body is having problems making it through training camps, it makes me wonder whether he had been having problems with his hip before the fight last Saturday. It would be interesting to know if Barker tweaked his hip in training camp and went into the fight like that.

The fact that Barker couldn’t hold up in going toe-to-toe with Sturm doesn’t say much about Barker’s ability to stand in the pocket against opposition with less than lethal power. If Barker couldn’t hold his ground against someone like Sturm then what do you think would happen if Barker had ever faced anyone really good like Gennady Golovkin?

What I saw of Barker last Saturday was a flawed fighter who made a huge mistake of bending forward while in close and exposing the back of his head to Sturm. I don’t know where Barker got that move from, but it should have been caught by one of his trainers ages ago, because I’ve seen Barker make that same move before and I never understood what he was doing.

Last Saturday, Barker turned his head to Sturm and it was like a ‘Hit me’ sign was taped to the back of Barker’s head begging Sturm to tag him. And that’s exactly what he did, and Barker immediately started staggering. If you look at Barker’s stoppage loss to Sergio Martinez in 2011, Barker did the same thing where he bent forward exposing the back of his head. Sergio accommodated by him knocking him out. It’s too bad a good trainer didn’t catch these flaws in Barker’s game ages ago and told him to stop doing that. I can’t imagine for a second a quality trainer like Freddie Roach letting Barker bend over in front of his opponents to expose the back of his head like he did against Sturm.

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