IBF middleweight champion ‘Dazzling’ Darren Barker will put his new world title on the line for the first time later this year when the Londoner travels to Stuttgart in Germany to face former three-time world title holder Felix Sturm on his home patch.
The 31 year-old, who realised his lifelong dream when overthrowing Australian Daniel Geale in the US to claim the coveted belt, will battle Sturm at the Porsche Arena on December 7 in what will be Barker’s mandatory defence.
Seasoned ex-champion Sturm, 34, has gained some notoriously debatable points victories in his native country in the past, which makes Barker’s decision all the more commendable as the Briton looks to keep a firm grip on the title he cherishes.
On recent form, Barker should go into the fight as favourite having won his last three fights in a row, whereas veteran Sturm has come out on top in just two of his last five contests and is widely thought to be on the downward slide in his career.
An official announcement from Team Sturm is expected to be made tomorrow to confirm the clash – as one of their favourite sons prepares to attempt to become a four-time middleweight champion in his 45th pro outing.