Battling Barker forced to bide his time

UNBEATEN Commonwealth middleweight champion Darren Barker faces a wait for his chance to challenge for the British title, which had been scheduled to take place on September 5, at Alexandra Palace, north London. For British champion Matthew Macklin, who w

UNBEATEN Commonwealth middleweight champion Darren Barker faces a wait for his chance to challenge for the British title, which had been scheduled to take place on September 5, at Alexandra Palace, north London.

For British champion Matthew Macklin, who was due to defend against Barker (pictured right), has decided to challenge for the European title instead and has been matched with Finland's Amin Asikainen for the vacant title.

Macklin will have to relinquish his British title, but insists he will be happy to make a defence of the European crown against Barker after he defeats Asikainen.

However, Barker, whose pro-success followed a title-studded campaign as an amateur at Bethnal Green's Repton BC, is likely to be matched with a new rival for the vacant title by the British Boxing Board of Control.


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With 20 straight victories to his credit, he is looking for the British title before moving on to press for world honours.

* PROMOTER Frank Maloney is promising big things on his curtain-raising night for the new boxing season at Crystal Palace Indoor Centre on September 11 - and they don't come much bigger than heavyweights John McDermott and Tyson Fury, who battle it out on the night for the English title on the show.

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Tyson is the latest big heavyweight hope on the boxing scene, and he's certainly big at six-feet-eight-inches tall and scaling at more than eighteen stones, with seven wins out of seven, all inside the distance.

However, big John McDermott will be weighing around the same poundage and with the experience of battling against some top names in the division including Matt Skelton and Danny Williams, represents Tyson's toughest test to date.

McDermott, who will build up for the fight as usual with workouts at east London gyms, will be backed by his enthusiastic local supporting squad when he faces Manchester's Fury.

At the other end of the scale, in the meeting of bantamweight rivals, are Ian Napa and Gary Davis, whose combined weight is less than either of the heavyweights.

They clash on the Maloney show for the title that Merseysider Davis claimed when he defeated Matthew Edmonds at York Hall recently.

Popular campaigner Napa, who lost his European title in his last fight when he was beaten by French rival Malik Bouziane at the Newham Leisure Centre will be aiming to regain the British crown he held previously.

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