British middleweight Darren Barker is on the verge of securing a second world title bout in a row with his team closing in on a shot at Mexican superstar Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
The Barnet fighter lost his unbeaten record in a courageous but unsuccessful challenge against Argentinian pound-for-pound favourite Sergio Martinez last month.
After taking a short break, however, Barker is close to agreeing another shot at world honours and it is understood Chavez - whose father is one of the sport's all-time greats - is the most likely should he come through his fight against Peter Manfredo Jr this weekend.
Barker's promoter Eddie Hearn is in advanced negotiations with Chavez's team - having also spoken to other world title holders.
"We've been talking to several champions and we hope to announce something in the coming weeks for Darren's next fight," Hearn said.
A second successive title shot would be a fitting reward for Barker after he made a name for himself in the United States with his performance against Martinez.
The former amateur star was giving the South American all kinds of trouble at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, before the tide turned courtesy of Martinez's revered punch power.
The Englishman had been a heavy underdog heading into that contest despite his unbeaten record but would face a far less daunting champion should he be granted a shot at Chavez.
Essentially, Chavez's version of the WBC belt is an inferior version of the laughably-titled 'diamond' strap Martinez holds and is therefore not a bona fide world title.
Yet the honour would earn Barker global recognition and open lucrative doors for the likeable Briton.Tags: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr , Darren Barker