Former middleweight title challenger Darren Barker got up from a sixth round knockdown and outworked Daniel Geale down the stretch of an excellent give-and-take battle, winning a split decision to take the Aussie’s IBF title.
Barker (26-1, 16 knockouts), the better technician, outboxed Geale in the the early rounds, but the defending titleholder stepped up his pressure and aggression in the middle rounds and dropped the British contender with a right hand to the head-left to the body combination in the sixth.
However, Barker rallied at the end of that round and took the seventh round on sheer activity. The two went tit for tat in rounds eight and nine, but Barker unleashed a brutal body attack to win the 10th before Geale (29-2, 15 KOs) staged a mini-rallyof his own in the final two rounds, though the brave Londoner answered back whenever he was nailed.
Barker won by scores of 116-111 and 114-113. Geale won on the third card, 114-113.
A full ringside report from Joe Santoliquito will be posted shortly.