Daniel Geale Vs Darren Barker – 17th August 2013

Betting Preview 

IBF Middleweight Title 

Location – Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA 

Darren Barker gets his second shot at fulfilling the dream of becoming a world champion, if Barker gets his hand raised it would be a fairy tale ending to what has been a tragic road at times for the former standout amateur.

Barker has been plagued by one injury after another throughout his career, further to this he also tragically lost his brother Gary in a car accident 7 years ago, Gary was also a boxing star in the making, the loss as it would, hit Barker hard and he took a break from the sport.

Then there was the incident in 2010 when Barker was assaulted by 12 thugs with a broken bottle in a street fight after trying to break up a fight, so as you can see Barker has came through many adversities in his life to be at this moment.

I was Barker’s biggest critic when he moved from amateur into the pro game i felt he carried too much of the point scoring mentality and didn’t put enough spite into his work, however in his last couple of fights i think we have seen a more spiteful and gritty Barker between the ropes, and he seems to now have that bit between his teeth and believes he is heavy handed, and as a result now fights with bad intentions.

In Geale he will have a really busy fighter in front of him, who can be a slippery little customer with a defence that can be difficult to penetrate. He always puts in a workman type performance and bags rounds, while he isn’t the biggest puncher he can still keep a guy honest.

For Barker to win he will need to let his hands go more often then we have seen him previously otherwise he will most likely get outworked by the Australian champion.

However i think Barker has found some new dimensions to his game he counter punches with much more spite then perhaps 3-4 years ago and Geale despite having a reputation for being durable can be dropped and if Barker can drop Geale a couple of times in the fight he could swing it in his favour.

I am backing Barker in this fight i believe the journey he has taken in his career has prepared him mentally for this moment and he appears to have adapted his boxing over the years to be more suited for the professional game and i believe he is the puncher in the fight.

Barker can be had at good odds too whilst he is only 13/8 to win outright he is 5/2 to get a decision at Ladbrokes and 8/1 to find a KO/TKO down at Bet365 i think you will be better off straddling those outcomes then taking him outright, but if you do be sure to cover with a nibble on the draw at 25/1 because this could be a subjective scoring fight with Geale being the busier but Barker landing the more telling shots and potentially dropping his opponent along the way.

ATR’s Bet – £20 on Barker by decision 5/2 Ladbrokes, £5 on Barker by KO/TKO 8/1 Bet365, £2 on the draw 25/1 Various bookmakers.