Friday, 16 August 2013

Darren Barker vs Daniel Geale - Fight Preview

By James McKnight @jamesmcknight83


The boxing season returns on August 17 as Britain’s, Darren “Dazzling” Barker, challenges Australia’s, Daniel “Real Deal” Geale, for the IBF middleweight title. The pair are set to clash at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Barker and Geale have been on a collision course since 2002 when they both won Gold medals at the Manchester Commonwealth Games, albeit in different weight classes. They both have solid amateur backgrounds and World-class experience as pros and are at a point in their careers where a win on August 17 would set them up for more big fights on the World stage. They understand what a win would do for their career and how a loss would affect them. They each have tons of heart and a desire to succeed, which will make this fight very exciting and the occasion overall very special.

Barker (25-1-0, 16 KO’s), is aiming to dethrone Geale who claimed the IBF 160lb strap back in May 2011. Of course, Barker has fought on the World stage once before, when he challenged Argentina’s, Sergio Martinez, for the WBC ‘Diamond’ middleweight title in October 2011. Barker was knocked down and counted out during the 11th round of that title fight, but only after providing plenty of problems for Martinez. There was no shame in losing to the Argentine. who, at 38 years of age, is still widely regarded as the King of the middleweight division. Since that loss, Barker has been in fine form, beating Welshman, Kerry Hope, in four rounds and Italian, Simone Rotolo, in four rounds also.

If “Dazzling” Darren is successful and defeats Geale, he will join four other British fighters (Randy Turpin, Alan Minter, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank), who have each claimed a World middleweight title.
It would be an amazing achievement and a special story for Barker if he was to beat the Australian. Now, at the age of 31, Barker has had to battle through the kind of injuries and devastating setbacks that would have broken lesser men. Mentally, the Barnet man is in a very good place and is extremely focused ahead of his big night. Barker is dedicating this fight to his Brother, Gary Barker (R.I.P), who he tragically lost seven years ago. This is a fight that he is ready to give his absolute all for in order to win and it would mean everything to him and his family if he came out victorious.

Geale (29-1-0, 15 KO’s), claimed the IBF middleweight title after beating Germany’s, Sebastian Sylvester, in 2011. After two successful defenses of the belt, he added the WBA ‘Super’ World title in September 2012, when he beat another German, Felix Sturm. In his last outing in January, Geale fought Countryman, Anthony Mundine, to claim the IBF belt for a fifth successive time. Geale’s one and only defeat as a pro was against Mundine back in 2009, so it was a case of sweet revenge.

At 32 years of age, Geale is still very ambitious and has many more goals he wants to achieve. He is confident in his own ability, but he knows what he is up against when he faces a hungry Darren Barker on August 17. Geale is certainly not looking past Barker, but he does feel that he is being underestimated by many critics and fans. Let us not forget that Geale traveled to Germany on those two occasions when he beat Sylvester and Sturm, so he knows what it takes to win on foreign soil. Geale believes Barker is going to provide a stern test, but this is what he wants – he wants to be pushed hard.

This is a real pick-em sort of fight and it will certainly come down to who wants it the most that will win. With their styles, I am expecting fireworks, but the first round or two may be a bit cagey. It is tough to make a prediction for this, but my head says Geale and my heart says Barker.

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