German boxer Felix Sturm has scored a second round TKO victory over defending champion Darren Barker to take the Briton's IBF middleweight title in Stuttgart. Former WBA champion Sturm twice knocked Barker to the canvas and looked set to finish him off when the towel was thrown in. Referee Mark Nelson called it off two minutes, nine seconds into the round on Saturday.
Sturm, a German of Bosnian descent, claimed his fourth world title and improved to 38-3-2 (17 KO), while Barker dropped to 26-2 (16 KO).
"I hit him well with my swings," said Sturm. "We worked on that in training. I also worked on my hip rotation and was more stable than before."
Barker, who pointed at his hip after going down the second time, was limping and clearly in major discomfort.
The Londoner previously had two hip replacement operations. He was taken to a hospital directly after the bout to assess the extent of his injury.
"Hopefully he is well after he left in pain," Sturm told Sky Sports. "Hopefully he is fine and we can do a rematch next year. Always to start fast, that's the best strategy for me. If I start slowly that's not so good for me. Darren started a little bit differently to what I expected and had a very good, hard left hook. It was a little bit difficult in the first round.
"Now I'm world champion what can I say. I feel great. I feel at the moment at this age very comfortable. I train very smart and I believe I can box for another five or six years. I'm ready for everything."Tags: Felix Sturm , Darren Barker , Sturm-Barker , Sturm vs. Barker