by Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
DARREN BARKER insists the chance of humbling Germany’s No.1 boxing star in front of his home fans is a risk worth taking. The Londoner will face Sturm, 34, in Stuttgart on December 7 having chosen to sacrifice home advantage against another opponent for a £1million pay-day in a first defence of his IBF world-middleweight title.
There have been a series of controversial decisions in Germany, one example being when Brit Martin Murray was held to a draw with ex-WBA champ Sturm in 2011.
But Barker, 31, has no concerns about retaining his title and defying the theory that foreign boxers have to knock out a German on home soil just to get a draw.
He said: “Sturm has been their standout boxer for years. It’s another experience I’ll have and another story to tell in years to come, that I beat their top man in Germany.
“The chance of doing that gives me a buzz.
“It will be hostile out there but I’ve no concerns. Firstly, because I’m so confident I’ll win the fight clearly there will be no argument when it comes to scoring it. And my promoter Eddie Hearn has insisted on neutral officials and judges.
“There is a rematch clause in London, which covers my back should I lose, so I don’t regret not making a first defence at home.”