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Barker will come unstuck in Canada vows veteran

PUBLISHED: 14:25 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:32 05 October 2010

By LEN WHALEY CANADIAN veteran Larry Sharpe insists undefeated middleweight Darren Barker has made a mistake by moving away from his home comfort zone for their fight on Friday night at The River Cree Resort and Casino in Alberta, Canada. East London s C

By LEN WHALEY

CANADIAN veteran Larry Sharpe insists undefeated middleweight Darren Barker has made a mistake by moving away from his home comfort zone for their fight on Friday night at The River Cree Resort and Casino in Alberta, Canada.

East London's Commonwealth titleholder Barker's last four fights have taken him no further than York Hall and Dagenham's Goresbrook Centre.

Training under Tony Sims at the east London TBS promotions gym, the classy Barker is unbeaten in his 17 paid fights and makes his North American debut as a pro.

But Sharpe believes he can use home advantage to end Barker's unbeaten streak.

"Barker will be wishing he had stayed at home after our contest," said the Canadian, who has lost just four of his 27 bouts and takes a six-fight winning streak into their meeting at the resort near Edmonton.

"Darren may have built up a winning run at home, but it will be different fighting on this side of the Atlantic - and he will not enjoy tasting defeat for the first time."

Commonwealth middleweight champion Barker has the air of a fighter who has heard such threats before and he has revealed that he has no worries about fighting abroad.

"I'm excited to be fighting in Canada," said the 26-year-old. "I had an extensive amateur career, and was constantly abroad. I'm quite comfortable fighting overseas. It's really nothing new for me.

"This is why I box and test myself, so I can travel the world and show people everywhere just what I'm capable of."

Barker earned many amateur honours at Bethnal Green's Repton club, including the 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medal at Manchester.

He turned pro under the Hennessy Sports promotion banner in 2003 and has his eyes firmly set on moving up to challenge for world honours.

Those big-time ambitions will crash if he fails to defeat Sharpe, but Barker is confident about the outcome.

"I know I have the ability to come through a winner," said Barker, whose Commonwealth crown will not be at stake in the fight being screened for TV viewers on both sides of the Atlantic.

"I want to entertain, I want to put on a good show, but more than anything I want to show the guy in the opposite corner that I can fight him any way he wants.

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