Barker vows to retain IBF middleweight crown in Germany

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Sturm_Calzaghe_BarkerLondon’s Darren Barker says he’s ready to shine away from home as he prepares to defend his IBF world middleweight title in Stuttgart tomorrow night against local hero Felix Sturm.

Barker who came back from the brink to snatch the belt from Aussie Daniel Geale in Atlantic City in August syas he’s ready to put an end to Sturm’s hopes of being a 4 time world champion.

“When preparation has been perfect you look forward to getting in there and that’s where I am right now – I just can’t wait to get in there and do my thing,” said Barker, who weighed in at 11st 5lbs, lighter Sturm who scaled 11st 5lbs 6oz.

“I’ve got a small and close team around me and that’s how I like it. I’ve had a good week here, it’s been enjoyable, we’ve been treated really well and the German fans have been great. I’ve got a lot of fans out here and they were brilliant in the weigh-in, there’s even more coming tomorrow and it’s going to be a great atmosphere.

“The confidence and belief from winning a World title is unreal – I’ve always believed I’m World class, but winning that World title I know that I am World class because I’ve proved it. I am as hungry as I’ve ever been, I’m proud to be a World champion and I want to have a long reign.

“Coming out to Germany to fight one of their great champions is a big statement. I’ve won the title abroad and I’m defending it abroad – it’s a sign of my belief that I will beat him and move towards securing a legacy in this great division.”

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