Advertisement
Advertisement

Barker-Sturm Clash - BoxingScene Staff Predictions

by Jake Donovan

In a week loaded with boxing action, it’s possible that this middleweight title fight proves to be the sleeper of the bunch.

Darren Barker and Felix Sturm have both overcome tremendous adversity to claim title status at separate points in their respective careers. They now have each other to conquer in order to prevail Saturday evening in Stuttgart, Germany.

The bout marks the first middleweight title defense for Barker (26-1, 16KO), who claimed championship status with a hard-fought split decision over Daniel Geale on HBO in August. The visiting Brit was fighting for the third time outside of his native England, with the night threatening to turn out similar to his last trip to Atlantic City.

A crippling body shot put Barker down on the canvas and nearly out for the count midway through the sixth round. The 31-year old not only made it to his feet, but punched his way back into the fight by round’s end. A Herculean effort proved worthwhile, claiming a middleweight belt just shy of two years following his lone loss, when he was stopped in 11 rounds by lineal middleweight king Sergio Martinez, also in Atlantic City and also televised on HBO.

His first defense is also his second straight road trip, traveling to Germany, where his challenger has been grated the benefit of the doubt many times over.

However, it hasn’t been all glory for Sturm (38-3-2, 17KO) in 13 years as a pro boxer. Three title reigns have come of his standout career, though for a long time best remembered for being robbed of victory in a June ’04 title loss to Oscar de la Hoya.

The night served as the lone stateside appearance for Sturm, a member of the 2000 Croatia Olympic boxing team (known at the time by his birth name, Adnan Catic). Of his 22 fights since then, all but one have taken place in his adopted home of Germany, the lone exception a May ’05 showcase in his native Croatia.

Among his three title reigns, Sturm has been accused of home cooking on several occasions. Included are his controversial split decision win over Matthew Macklin (who fights later this evening in Atlantic City) in June ’11, followed by a disputed draw versus Martin Murray later in the year.

His good fortunes ran out in September ’12, dropping a split decision to Geale in a fight many felt – ironically – could have gone the other way.

The fall from grace continued in suffering a loss to Sam Soliman in his next fight, only for the verdict to be overturned when the Australian was popped for a banned substance found in post-fight drug tests. A 4th round stoppage of previously unbeaten Predrag Radosevic has since followed, his last fight to date heading into tonight’s affair.

Can Sturm turn back the clock one more time and ignite the starting point of a fourth middleweight title reign? Can Barker overcome the challenge of defending in his opponent’s homeland, and escape Germany with his middleweight title still intact?

Read on to see how the staff at Boxingscene.com believes this evening’s middleweight title tilt will play out.

PREDICTIONS – DARREN BARKER vs. FELIX STURM

“Barker does enough to avoid getting robbed.”

- Damien Acevedo (Barker SD)

“I like Barker to edge out Sturm.”

- Mitch Abramson (Barker SD)

“I think Barker will win in the realm of 116-112 or 117-111 type scores but the judges in Germany will make the results eyebrow-raising to say the least.”

- Ryan Burton (Barker SD)

“I’ll be the one guy to play the role of optimist. Barker overcomes early threats from Sturm, pulls ahead in the second half of the fight and is properly rewarded on all three cards by fight’s end.”

- Jake Donovan (Barker UD)

"A few fights ago, Sturm would have been a smart-money pick. But he’s been beaten recently at home and away and will need help end the skid here.”

- Lyle Fitzsimmons (Barker by decision)

 “Controversy will abound in the closely contested match fought in Sturm's home country.”

- Richard Najdowski (Sturm SD)

“Sturm is a skilled contender, though fell against Geale and Barker defeated Geale. In addition, Barker lose against Martinez in close fight. Barker should win this fight.”

- Reynaldo Sanchez (Barker UD)

“Sturm time is over. He was defeated by Geale in an even fight, and then looked old against a more mediocre badass in Soliman. He will stink against Barker as well. The German will make it surely competitive, but the Brit will look brighter and better.”

- Alexey Sukachev (Barker UD)

Totals:

Darren Barker 7

Felix Sturm 1

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Chillman on 12-08-2013

Wow. These experts are about as good as the one on BoxNation who had Murray winning against Sturm and predicted Austin Trout would win a wide decision over Erislandy Lara... Anyone know who he is?

Comment by yoshik on 12-07-2013

[quote=mathed;14003380]glad to see the experts are picking barker. He very, very good boxing skills and will surprise sturm and counter him like a champ.[/quote] wrong again dude.

Comment by yoshik on 12-07-2013

[QUOTE=M4RK;14004167]I'm predicting Sturm to TKO Barker in the 2nd round.[/QUOTE] Dude I love your stats. Piss on FMJ.

Comment by yoshik on 12-07-2013

So much for writing off Sturm. A better champ than Barker ever could be. Don;t forget he beat Oscar when Oscar was still good. Barker gave a good account of himself with Geale. British fighters just can't get er done.

Comment by M4RK on 12-07-2013

I'm predicting Sturm to TKO Barker in the 2nd round.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (7)
Top Headlines Joseph Diaz: Liam Smith is a Very Tough Fight For Canelo Photos: Adonis Stevenson, Thomas Williams Size Up at Presser Carl Frampton: Everyone Expects Me To Lose, I'll Get The Upset! Dorticos To Shumenov: You Paper Champ, Stop Running Chicken Photos: Margarito, Alvarez Go Face To Face at Presser Video: Leo Santa Cruz Ready For War With Carl Frampton Amir Khan: Arum is Bitter, He's Scared To Do The Pacquiao Fight! Photos: Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Malignaggi, Garcia Workouts Photo: Kell Brook Embraces VADA Testing For Golovkin Shot Amnat Ruenroeng Vows To Get Olympic Gold For His Family Photos: Andre Ward Cheers on Kevin Durant, Team USA Czar Glazkov Still Recovering, Return is Possible in November Video: Golovkin's Coach on Terence Crawford, Kell Brook, More Leo Santa Cruz: If Dad Didn't Get Better, I May Have Pulled Out Lucas Browne Enters WBC's VADA Drug Testing Program Frankie Gavin vs. Sam Eggington Looms For October Clash Luke Campbell Focused, Aims To Do a Job on Argenis Mendez Otto Wallin Faces Osborne Machimana on September 10th Liam Walsh to meet Andrey Klimov in IBF final eliminator Leo Santa Cruz Fearful Frampton Won’t Come To Fight Saturday Loeffler on GGG-Brook: The Best at 147 Facing The Best at 160 Bradley Warns: Crawford Can Win, But Pacquiao is NO Postol HBO Sports Head: We Want To Match The Best Fights Possible Olympic Boxers, Now Without Headgear, Worry About Cuts Dimitrenko Confident of Beating Parker, Derailing Joshua Fight Marlon Tapales Shocks Pungluang Sor Singyu, Wins WBO Belt Paul Smith Set For September Return, Won't Be on Liverpool Bill Abel Sanchez: Manny Pacquiao Should Fight Keith Thurman Photos: Robert Guerrero, Alfredo Angulo, Gausha Presser Paulie Malignaggi’s Master Plan: This is Just Step One Loeffler: Golovkin Will Have 3 Fights Prior To Canelo Fight Alfredo Angulo Eyes Gold: I Want a World Title Shot in 2017! Video: Timothy Bradley Talks Pacquiao vs. Crawford, More Video: Loeffler Talks Golovkin vs. Brook HBO Tripleheader Robert Guerrero Aims For Rematch With Danny Garcia Leo Santa Cruz Says Having Dad in NYC Brought Him To Tears Photos: Joseph Diaz, Nick Arce, Roy Tapia Putting in Work Gamboa's Coach: One or Two More, Then Bring on Lomacheneko! Ruben Villa Inks Promotional With Banner and Thompson HBO Sports Head: Chocolatito Has Gotta Perform With Cuadras
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement