New York, NY - Undefeated European Champion, "Dazzling" Darren Barker is as confident as ever ahead of his Middleweight Championship bout next Saturday, October 1st, at Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, N.J., against Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez (47-2-2, 26KO's). Barker will be making the trip across the pond looking to collect both Martinez' WBC Diamond belt and Ring Championship.
Barker, who made the trip state-side Sunday spoke about how he believes Martinez is making a big mistake in underestimating him, and plans to make the champ pay on fight night.
"When you look Sergio's last three performances against Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and Sergiy Dzinziruk, they are the fights of a true great of boxing and he looked great doing it. But I believe that I'm the proper Middleweight of the two of us. I'm bigger than him and I'm stronger than him and I think that I can make that count on the night. There's nothing more dangerous than a hungry fighter, and I am exactly that. I'm 29 and he's 36, I've got the ambition and desire behind me to become a world champion and everything is ahead of me just waiting there for the taking, which is what I plan to do in Atlantic City. Martinez is talking about the other fights that he wants to have - well, he is in for a big shock on October 1st. He is underestimating me and if he wants to do that, fine - I will make him pay for taking me lightly and looking past what is right in front of him - a fighter who has the hunger, the spirit and the skill to beat him."
Barker continued, "I'm more of an underdog in America rather than back home because people here don't know what I've done. I'm the unbeaten European Champion - maybe Stateside that isn't as big a deal but I deserve this shot, and it's not a shot to nothing. American fight fans haven't seen me fight and British fight fans haven't seen the best of me as it's still to come - I'm ready to peak and there's no better time to hit my best than in beating Sergio.
I've always liked America, it's a great place to travel around and fighting over here is a massive thing because it's really the Mecca of boxing. After 17 years of hard work in boxing, it's great to have reached this point where I'm in a marquee fight in the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City - there's a great history there and I'm ready to leave my mark there on October 1."
Tickets for "Noche de 'Maravilla'" are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster retail outlet, or in person at the Boardwalk Hall box office.
"Noche de 'Maravilla': Martinez vs. Barker" is being presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Matchroom Sport, and Caesars Atlantic City, and is sponsored by Corona. Doors open at 6PM ET, with the first bout scheduled for 6:30PM ET. The show will be aired live on HBO's World Championship Boxing®, beginning at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT