Darren Barker’s injury curse has struck again with a damaged arm, forcing the British middleweight to withdraw from a long-awaited comeback bout on September 8 against Italian Simone Rotolo.
Barker-Rotolo was scheduled to be the main feature on the undercard of compatriot Tony Bellew’s light heavyweight showdown with Edison Miranda at the Alexandra Palace in north London.
However, Barker, who has been inactive for the past ten months after undergoing hip surgery in the wake of an 11th-round KO by THE RING’s pound-for-pound No. 3 Sergio Martinez in October 2010, now faces another frustrating spell on the sidelines.
Torn tendons in an arm, sustained during sparring, mean the 30-year-old from Barnet must rest at least four weeks before returning to the gym. But if a huge blow to someone dogged by injuries for the best part of four years, promoter Eddie Hearn remains upbeat about Barker (23-1, 14 knockouts) being back in the ring sooner rather than later.
“I am gutted for Darren as he’s been looking great in training and I know he was ready to get back to what he does best,” said the Matchroom chief. “The only good news is that it is a new injury rather than an aggravation of an old injury — and we hope that he will be back in action very soon.”
English welterweight Lee Purdy (18-3-1, 11 KOs) steps in as the chief support act on next month’s bill, taking on the powerful, undefeated Argentine Gumersindo Carrasco (16-0, 13 KOs) for the IBF international belt, recently vacated by Purdy’s Matchroom stablemate, Kell Brook. Hearn is predicting a barnburner between the pair, who are both 25.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Lee and it promises to be a great fight against Carrasco, who brings a great knockout record to London,” Hearn said. “Lee is always in exciting fights and I’m sure that this occasion will bring the best out of him and the fans will love it. You only have to watch Carrasco on the internet to see what kind of war this is going to be.”