Boxing - Barker ready to dazzle in first title defence tomorrow

Dazzling Darren Barker has vowed to shine in his first IBF World middleweight title defence against Felix Sturm at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart. Sturm is attempting to become the first four-time German boxing champion – but Barker said that it won’t be happening tomorrow night.

At the weigh-in, Barker scaled 11st 5lbs with Sturm slightly heavier at 11st 5lbs 6oz.

Barker said: “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.

“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.”

Barker v Sturm is live on Sky Sports 1 on Saturday from 9pm.

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