Frank Warren to promote Macklin v Barker grudge match

PUBLISHED: 12:30 01 July 2010 | UPDATED: 16:13 05 October 2010

EUROPEAN middleweight champion Darren Barker should hear the venue for his defence against Birmingham s Matthew Macklin this week, after promoter Frank Warren, who won the purse bids to stage their showdown.

EUROPEAN middleweight champion Darren Barker should hear the venue for his defence against Birmingham's Matthew Macklin this week, after promoter Frank Warren, who won the purse bids to stage their showdown.

It's always the sign of a promising battle when rival promoters start digging deep in their pockets to stage a championship clash - and the middleweight meeting could be a classic.

Fight-wise Warren knows that tickets sales will be good whether the Barker v Macklin fight is staged at a London venue - or in the Midlands

Warren, came first with a bid of £125,600 with Barker's promoter Hennessy Sports coming second and Brian Peter Promotions finishing third.

The insults have already flying between the rivals with Barker, based at the Hainault gym of his regular trainer - east Londoner Tony Sims - having accused his rival of 'lacking bottle'.

Macklin fired back by calling the former Repton amateur title winner a 'paper champion'.

Barker, who has chalked up 22 straight successes since shedding the amateur vest of the Bethnal Green club six years ago, has been chasing Macklin for more than a year and won the European strap when the Birmingham fighter vacated it due to injury.

"Barker got the opportunity and full credit to him for taking it," said Macklin, who has lost twice in 28 professional bouts.

"But I never lost the title in the ring so until he gets in there with me, Barker's really only a paper champion.

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