Barker set for top after McKay destruction

PUBLISHED: 10:07 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:53 05 October 2010

By LEN WHALEY DARREN BARKER rounded off his 2008 campaign in winning style on Saturday night by outclassing Jason McKay at the Brentwood International Centre to retain his Commonwealth middleweight title. The 26-year-old former Repton star dominated thro


DARREN BARKER rounded off his 2008 campaign in winning style on Saturday night by outclassing Jason McKay at the Brentwood International Centre to retain his Commonwealth middleweight title.

The 26-year-old former Repton star dominated throughout and it was no suprise when McKay's corner pulled him out of the fight after the bell had signalled the end of round six.

Now Barker is looking forward to further international honours next year after promoter Mick Hennessy hailed the 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medallist as a future world champion.

"Darren has got the potential to be the best middleweight in the world," said Hennessy. "He's got a great amateur pedigree, he's a brilliant boxer and he's starting to punch a lot harder now.

"We'd like to get a Commonwealth defence and by the end of next year we're looking for him to be European champion."

Barker was too fast, too powerful and too accurate for a game rival as he forced the pace, scoring with the sharp jabs and hooks.

The champion took control from the start, rocking McKay with a crunching right hand in the opening round.

He continued to pour on the punches, shaking the Northern Irish fighter again in the third and sixth rounds and leaving McKay's face bruised and battered.

The end came at the end of the sixth round when McKay's trainers John Breen and Eamonn Magee sensibly decided that they were not going to let their charge out of the corner.

After a 19th straight pro victory, Barker dedicated the performance to his brother Gary, who was tragically killed in a car accident two years ago.

Dwayne Lewis made it five fights unbeaten as a pro when he outpointed Slough rival Ryan Wall on the undercard at Brentwood.

Wall had won his last two contests but was in trouble from the start when a powerful right sent him to the floor for an eight count.

Lewis, who like Barker is trained by Tony Sims and promoted by Hennessy Sports, continued to hold the edge in a contest marred by holding.

Most ringside observers had the former Peacock club amateur a comfortable points winner, but referee Marcus McDonnell scored it a close 57-56 to the Canning Town boxer.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Latest East London Sports News


An unbeaten county-best 55 by Jack Leaning helped Kent to hold their nerve and land a four-wicket win with only two balls to spare over south group rivals Essex Eagles in Canterbury.


West Ham boss David Moyes has been impressed with Mikel Arteta’s start to management at Arsenal but is eager to provide a bump in the road when they face off this weekend.

Yesterday, 10:00

West Ham United fan and budding journalist Kwame Boakye gives his views on the club’s performance during the opening weekend.

Wed, 17:17

Aron Nijjar celebrated career-best bowling figures as Vitality Blast holders Essex Eagles thrashed Hampshire by 54 runs to keep their faint quarter-final dreams alive.

Wed, 12:00

League cricket bid farewell to Victoria Park for another year with a one-off rescheduled match, as the unbeaten Royal Tigers took on local rivals Sylhet, with the Division Three title going to whichever team won the game.

Wed, 12:00

It was a busy weekend at Lee Valley with Wapping men’s 1st XI enduring three tough pre-season friendlies.

Wed, 11:00

Midfielder Declan Rice became the youngster West Ham United player to reach 100 Premier League appearances when he faced Newcastle United, at the age of just 21 years and 242 days.

Wed, 10:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton admitted it means ‘a hell of a lot’ to progress into the third round of the Carabao Cup where they will face Tottenham Hotspur.


For the past six months, employers and employees have been adapting to ways of working from home. The green light has now been given to many people to go back to offices safely. From flexible hours and staggered starting times to deep cleaning, we’re getting ready for new ways of working.

School’s in for summer – and beyond – with health experts agreeing that pupils safely returning to their studies is “positively” the right thing to do. It’s vital for all children’s welfare, not just in terms of students’ future education but also mental and physical well-being, as well as social interaction of classmates.

The NHS Test and Trace system provides protection for family, friends, colleagues and the community, and is here to keep all of us safe and allow us to enjoy summer safely. We take a look at how the system is working and talk to one member of the thousands of team members about her experiences.

Most read sport

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser