Brilliant Barker feels he’s ready for a tilt at a world title

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 March 2013

Darren Barker after knocking down Italy's Simone Rotolo

Darren Barker after knocking down Italy's Simone Rotolo

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Darren Barker is convinced he is world title-bound after stopping Italian Simone Rotolo in four rounds on the Matchroom show at Wembley on Saturday night.

The former Repton star, guided by east London manager Tony Sims’ in his Hainault gym, impressively turned on the power and Rotolo was unable to continue claiming a hand injury – although the 37-year-old had clearly taken enough shots.

Barker took control from the start as an overhand right staggered Rotolo in the first round and a body shot landed him on the canvas.

The Italian tried to fight back and joined in some savage exchanges, but the usually stylish Barker was keen to show his punching power, blasting his rival with a string of solid shots.

Barker, with just a single defeat in 26 pro outings, is looking for top grade rivals and was satisfied: “I felt in good form and I am confident I will take that world title.”

Another former Repton star – lightweight Martin Ward – sparkled with his fifth straight pro win, and his first pro stoppage, halting Stoke’s outgunned Kevin Hanks with a powerful assault in the fifth round.

Meanwhile, Canning Town duo Wadi Camacho and Ryan Taylor are looking for return chances after having their winning runs halted when they suffered defeats in title clashes on the bright Matchroom bill.

Taylor’s unbeaten eight bout run was ended in an entertaining Southern Area lightweight title duel by the hit and move tactics of Liam Shinkwin, who was staggered more than once, but landed the scoring shots to take the 97-94 decision.

The fans were also excited by ‘Macho-man’ Wadi’s slam-bang battle with Leeds rival China Clark, who survived some big blows to win the vacant English cruiserweight crown, as weary Camacho was retired by his corner after seven rounds.

■ Ex-Repton amateur Philip Bowes was a sixth-round stoppage winner over Belarus boxer Andrei Sudas on the Goodwin promotion at York Hall on Saturday where Michael Lomax outpointed Lithuania Ardvydas Trizno.

■ Ahmet Patterson is looking to maintain his seven bout winning run on the Frank Maloney show at York Hall on Friday night – topped by the Matt Skelton v John McDermott English heavyweight title duel.

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