By Mitch Abramson
Darren Barker, not exactly shy about bold proclamations (and with a talent for filling a reporter's notebook) will attempt to expose Sergio Martinez’s lack of experience on Saturday in Atlantic City when they meet for Martinez’s WBC Diamond middleweight title, he told BoxingScene.com.
Martinez, in his well-chronicled career, started boxing at the age of 20, while Barker, for all his anonymity, started working at the sport eight years earlier and believes his experience, understanding the nuances, being around the fight game, soaking it all in, will give him a huge advantage over Martinez, who has been able to get by, for the most part, on his incredible athleticism.
“That’s what I feel I will try and do,” Barker said during a media session at the Mendez Boxing Gym in Manhattan. “I’ve dedicated my life to the sport. Before I even started boxing at 12, my dad was a boxer, so my life’s been boxing, boxing. I think, the strategic part of boxing will play a big part on Saturday, you know, nullifying what a fighter does well. I love that part of boxing. I love the thinking part of boxing rather than the real brute force. I like the thinking and beating my opponent that way.”
To hear Barker describe it, the sport of boxing is a thinking man’s game, and if the fight dissolves into a chess match on Saturday, Barker thinks he has a huge edge.
“I have a fantastic boxing brain,” Barker went on. “I like the strategic side of boxing. I like figuring out my opponent and making them fall short. My boxing brain may play a big part in this fight.”
Mitch Abramson covers boxing for the New York Daily News and BoxingScene.com.