Barker stops Hope on return
Former European middleweight champion Darren Barker made a successful ring return after fourteen months out to stop former belt holder Kerry Hope in four rounds at the London Olympia.
The 30 year-old, who has suffered a catalogue of injuries during his career, outclassed the Welshman throughout and after a sustained attack in the third round, ended the fight as Hope’s corner through the towel in following a hard knockdown.
The Barnet fighter is now back in the title mix after claiming the IBF Inter-Continental belt and could be looking to face the likes of Matthew Macklin and Andy Lee as he seeks a second chance at a world crown.
Earlier, John Ryder proved his credentials in the same weight class by ending Prizefighter champion Eamonn O’Kane’s undefeated record with an eighth round stoppage to move to 13-0 and one step closer to a British title shot.