Darren Barker’s manager and promoter, Eddie Hearn, insists we have not heard the last of the British middleweight.
Sure, the task of dethroning Argentine superstar Sergio Martinez last Saturday in Atlantic City, NJ, proved a step beyond European titleholder Barker, who, after a brave display, was finally knocked out in the 11th round.
Yet, as far Hearn is concerned, the previously undefeated man from Barnet, north London, did more than enough on that night to demonstrate his talent and prove that he has the stomach to share a ring with the very best the division has to offer.
How far 29-year-old Barker (23-1, 14 knockouts) might have to drop down in the coming months in order to re-establish his credentials for the top remains to be seen. If Hearn has anything to do with it, though, it will be the smallest of descents…straight into a world title showdown against those middleweights ranked underneath RING champion Martinez.
“He did brilliantly. Everybody in Britain should be so proud. And I will get him another world title shot. Immediately,” Matchroom supremo Hearn told Sky Sports. “Darren boxed beautifully and I had the fight pretty even going into the 11th round.
“He took on the number three pound-for-pound. People wrote Darren Barker off. In England, they wrote him off. In America, they wrote him off. We all should be so proud of the guts he showed. So many people have had big fights before and not forced the issue.
“But he never talked big before the fight, he never said he was going to knock anybody out. But he pushed all the way. He knew he had to win the last two rounds and he went out there to try and win those rounds.”