Darren Barker eyes Euro clash with Matthew Macklin

Darren Barker is unhappy with British champion Matthew Macklin for abandoning their scheduled clash – but will be cheering for the Birmingham fighter to win his European title fight

Darren Barker admits he is unhappy with British champion Matthew Macklin for abandoning their scheduled clash - but he will be cheering for the Birmingham fighter to win his European title fight with Finland's Amin Asikainen tomorrow night.

Former Repton amateur Barker, who is based at trainer Tony Sims' gym in Hainault, was due to challenge Macklin for the British title this month until the champion pulled out of the fight in favour of the European title challenge in Manchester.

"I was far from pleased when Macklin cried off after our fight was agreed - but I am hoping he wins on Friday and we can meet for more money with the European title at stake," Barker said. "I believe that I'm world class and in a different league to Macklin. Our records in the amateurs and the pros prove that."

The unbeaten 27-year-old won a Commonwealth Games gold medal as an amateur and currently holds the Commonwealth middleweight crown as a professional.


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Barker and the rest of the Sims stable have received a boost after agreeing a new sponsorship deal with Elite Scaffolding's managing director Luke Chandler.

"The sponsorship help of Luke has been a real help for the gym," said East London trainer Sims.

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Boxing pundit Steve Bunce built up a large following with his weekly programme on Setanta TV, but he has been missed by fans since the demise of the channel.

However, he has now decided to hit the road with a countrywide tour which comes to the FYMFYG Bar at 231 Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green on Tuesday September 29. "It will be a night for the real boxing enthusiasts," Bunce said.

Entrance is �15 on the door or �10 for amateur boxing club members.

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