Darren Barker Prepared To Batter Kerry Hope on 12/8

Darren Barker is ready to renew his assault on the middleweight division and end another "soul-destroying" year ravaged by injury.

Barker meets fellow former European title holder Kerry Hope at Olympia on December 8 knowing an impressive victory will propel him onto the fringes of the world title reckoning.

A torn bicep forced last month's clash with Simone Rotolo to be cancelled and not for the first time Barker, who was stopped in 11 rounds by the brilliant WBC world champion Sergio Martinez 12 months ago, thought his career was over.

The 30-year-old was back in an all-too familiar place having undergone arthroscopy on both hips and endured injuries to both elbows.

"It was a depressing time, soul-destroying. I hit rock bottom," said Barker, who has won all but one of his 24 fights.

"I had to do some soul-searching and see if boxing was for me. At one point I'd announced my retirement to myself. It was rock bottom stuff.

"You get to 30-years-old and you start asking what am I on this planet for?

"I always believed it was boxing but how can I feed my family if I can't get near the ring? I've got a little girl and it was worrying.

"But I've turned the page and mentally I feel so switched on. I'm ready to kick-start my career again

"I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing and I won't feel content until I win a world title, which I proved against Martinez is within my reach."

Barker finished with a perforated ear-drum against Martinez but only after acquitting himself well against one of boxing's classiest operators.

Big pay days await against the likes of fellow world-title challenging Britons Martin Murray and Matthew Macklin and throughout a strong division.

"No disrespect to Kerry but he's not in my league. If I impress against him, I'm back onto the world scene," Barker said.

"I want to get some momentum going, which I haven't been able to do over the last two years.

"I came up short against Martinez but I went there to win the world title.

"I'm a young 30-year-old and if you look back at my career I haven't had many hard fights. The Martinez fight wasn't a war."

Welsh lightweight Gavin Rees, ranked second by the WBA, also appears on the Olympia bill with John Murray having agreed to be his opponent, pending clearance from the Mancunian's promoter Frank Warren.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Clegg on 10-22-2012

Barker and Proska are with the same promoter and based in the same country so it should be easy to make, hope they do it.

Comment by ddangerous on 10-22-2012

Glad to see Barker is finally set to fight again. Last year was not good to him or Pirog.

Comment by Sparked_26 on 10-22-2012

Decent test. Hope is a complete non-puncher but he's obviously no mug,

Comment by Mick Higgs on 10-22-2012

Is the vacant British title on the line & if not why not?

Comment by kiaba360 on 10-22-2012

[QUOTE=hougigo;12628266]I'd be down for that.... would be a really interesting fight to see who'll come out on top[/QUOTE] They were rumored to be opponents, but Proksa went on to fight GGG after Barker got injured.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (10)
Top Headlines Froch Gives Canelo The Edge To Beat Golovkin, He Explains Why Juan Carlos Payano, Reymart Gaballo Get Big Wins in Florida Making Sense Out Of The UFC Signing Anthony Joshua GGG's Promoter Praises NSAC For Taking Canelo Tests Seriously Video: Johnny Nelson Talks Canelo-Golovkin, Joshua-Wilder Video: Carl Froch Talks Canelo-Golovkin, PEDs, Joshua-Wilder Saunders: When I Face Golovkin or Canelo - You Will See My Best Golden Boy Reacts To Canelo Being Temporarily Suspended Canelo is 'Temporarily Suspended' By NSAC Due To Failed Tests Joshua: Losing Scares Me, Stays on Your Record For Eternity Crawford-Horn Rescheduled for June 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas Tyson Fury is Reportedly Closing a Deal With Frank Warren Abel Sanchez: After Vera, Soro Wants Castano Rematch Photos: Jose Martinez, Alejandro Santiago Ready For Battle in PR Badou Jack: I'm Coming To Beat Up Adonis Stevenson! Kody Davies Inks With Hayemaker Ringstar, Fights on Bellew-Haye Parker: Joshua Disrespected Press From New Zealand, Samoa Photos: Tyron Zeuge, Isaac Ekpo Ready For Rematch Clash Whyte: This is My Time To Shine, Browne is Good Name To Beat Saunders To Sanchez: Golovkin is My Backup Plan, I'm Not Yours! Parker: I Just Want To Get in There and Bash Anthony Joshua! Mikey Garcia to Keep IBF 140-Pound Title, Baranchyk Bout Ordered Michael Conlan Added To Lomachenko vs. Linares at MSG Photos: Joseph Parker Putting in Work For Anthony Joshua Clash Giyasov, Akhmadaliev, Ahmedov Back on April 21 Holyfield Card Photos: Buglioni-Johnson, Ritson-Cardle, Chisora - Weigh-In Photos: Dillian Whyte, Lucas Browne - Ready For War in London Trainer Expects Career Best Performance From Gervonta Davis Espinoza Explains Making Lara-Hurd Over Lara-Charlo, Hurd-Charlo Sanchez Not Worried if Canelo Falls Out, Saunders is Backup Frank Warren on Billy Joe Saunders' Injury, Frampton-Donaire Liam: When I Beat Ali For WBO Belt - Khan, Brook Will Want Me Life on The Road - Do You Get a Fair Shake? Hearn Dares Team Parker: Make Your Claims To Joshua's Face! Parker Feels Boost From Deontay Wilder's Encouraging Words Avni Yildirm Arrives To Help Canelo Prepare For Golovkin Jeff Horn Helping Hogan Prepare For WBO Eliminator With Kelly Video: Hearn on Dana White Aiming To Sign Anthony Joshua Floyd Mayweather in MMA - Not Betting Against It Sanchez Questions 'Meat' - Says Golovkin Wants To Punish Canelo

Latest Active Forum Threads