Barker to end wait for a decision win over Sturm in Germany
Germany has developed a certain reputation for favouring its own boxers in tight title fights that have gone to points, with Ireland’s Matthew Macklin and Britain’s Martin Murray both previously failing in exceptionally close title challenges against Felix Sturm.
This is one reason that Darren Barker is taking a big risk in the first defence of his IBF middleweight belt against Sturm in Stuttgart.
Despite this, Barker is the slight favourite in the boxing odds at 8/11 to make a successful defence, with Sturm the 6/5 underdog, even with his home advantage.
A lot is on the line for Sturm in his 18th career title fight in the middleweight ranks and there is a strong possibility that it will be his last, should he be defeated.
The one thing that Sturm will be is hard to knockout, as he has only been stopped once in his career and this was back in 2006.
He has a particularly hard to breach head defence and even though he may be passed his peak, this defence will be as strong as ever.
In Barker’s favour is that he appears to be beyond the injury issues that have impacted his early career and his confidence will be at an all-time high after beating Daniel Geale last time.
Taking Sturm to the second half of the fight has to be his Barker’s first gameplan and it is hard not to see him taking the initiative in the latter rounds.
By far the most likely outcome is that the judges’ scorecards will be needed to pick a winner and it is 1/3 that the fight goes the distance.
Barker is 11/8 to win on points and even though past history suggests this is unlikely, it does look well priced.