December 8th is expected to be a very good night for British fight fans. Matchroom sports is promoting a show titled "The Christmas Cracker". The event is staging the big return of Darren Barker. Barker who has been out of the ring for 13 months due to ongoing hip injuries will face capable Welshman Kerry Hope. The show was supposed to be headlined by Gavin Rees facing John Murray in an intriguing contest , but the fight fell through after Murray failed a medical test.
Hope , who is from Merthyr Tydfil in Wales is known mostly for his win over (at the time) highly ranked contender Gregorsz Proksa for the European middleweight title , although Hope lost the rematch to the pole it is still a great win on his resume'. Since losing the rematch to Proksa Hope has had one outing , a win against a Journeyman named Norbert Szekeres. Hope is 31 years old and holds a good record of (18-4-0-1ko) and is not known as a big puncher.
Barker , who is from Barnet in London has faced the better opposition of the two fighters. Barker's best fight to date was his brilliant effort against middleweight King Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez. Although Barker lost the fight by TKO in the eleventh round , he gave a good effort in that fight and even won 4 or 5 rounds. Barker proved in that fight that he is a world class fighter.
Because of the level of opposition Barker has fought , I expect him to get a good victory. I think he will KO Hope in rounds 6-8. I expect him to start of slow because he has been out of the ring for so long but still get a great victory. I do like Hope though and expect him to give a spirited effort , but I give him no chance at all of getting the victory.
The return of Barker will be one fight fans will not want to miss , What are your predictions on the fight and who do you think will win ?