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Barker defends at York Hall

PUBLISHED: 16:03 20 February 2008 | UPDATED: 14:11 02 July 2010

Darren Barker will make the first defence of his Commonwealth middleweight title against former European title challenger Steve Bendall at York Hall on Friday and knows that victory is vital for his fighting future. Training alongside world names like Ca

Darren Barker will make the first defence of his Commonwealth middleweight title against former European title challenger Steve Bendall at York Hall on Friday and knows that victory is vital for his fighting future.

Training alongside world names like Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler have given the former Repton amateur the extra appetite to join them at the top level.

Now he must turn back the challenge of midlander Bendall, when he makes the first defence of hid title he won by defeating the previously unbeaten Australian, Ben Crampton, at York Hall in November last year.

Barker faces a tough challenge in the dangerous southpaw Bendall, who is coming off three consecutive wins and after going undefeated in 2007, will certainly be looking to continue his winning ways and upset the champion Barker.

Barker has compiled an unbeaten and impressive 16-fight record since turning professional after winning the gold medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester as a Repton member.

"I know that Bendall has been in with some very good opposition, but I am confident that I will be able to handle him and retain the Commonwealth title and bid for further success on the international scene," said the champion.

The Hennessy Sports show, presented in association with Golden Palace, also includes Dave Stewart v Jon Honney and bouts featuring Newham-based Rocky Dean, David Walker, Victor Smith and Daniel Herdman.

Anyone requiring York Hall show tickets can call the box office on 0870 060 1795 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.co.uk

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