Darren set to cheer on rival

DARREN BARKER admitted that he s not pleased with British champion Matthew Macklin, but will be cheering for the Brummie hope to win his European title contest with Finland s Amin Asikainen in Manchester on Friday night. Unbeaten ex-Repton amateur Barker,

DARREN BARKER admitted that he's not pleased with British champion Matthew Macklin, but will be cheering for the Brummie hope to win his European title contest with Finland's Amin Asikainen in Manchester on Friday night.

Unbeaten ex-Repton amateur Barker, based at trainer Tony Sims' gym in Hainault, was due to challenge Macklin for the British title this month - but the Champion pulled out to make his European title challenge.

"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.

"I believe that I'm world class and in a different league to Macklin. Our records in the amateurs and the pros prove that," said confident Barker, who won a Commonwealth Games gold medal as a Repton amateur and the Commonwealth middleweight crown as a pro fighter.


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Barker and the rest of the Sims stable have been boosted by the backing of new sponsor Luke Chandler, managing director of Elite Scaffolding.

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

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