May 26 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, March 7, 2013
West Ham midfielder Joe Cole has given his full support to boxing pal Darren Barker as the middleweight fighter prepares for Saturday’s bout with Italy’s Simone Rotolo at Wembley Arena.
London-born Barker, a lifelong Chelsea fan, endured a frustrating year in 2012 due to hip and bicep injuries but got back on the comeback trail when he knocked out Welshman Kerry Hope back in December.
The 30-year-old is now looking for victory over Rotolo to put him in the running for a second world title shot.
West Ham’s Cole got to know Barker during his time at Chelsea and hopes his support can help his friend over the line at Wembley this weekend.
Barker, meanwhile, is feeling confident in the build-up to the fight having shaken off his injury problems.
He said: “It was good to get back in there before Christmas and get rid of the rust - I feel I am almost there now.
“Rotolo is a tough and durable guy who knows his way around the ring so I might get a few more rounds out of him.
“I am not taking him lightly, it is a big fight and the one after this will potentially be a big title fight or a domestic clash.
“I am feeling really good, I am in fantastic shape and I had a good training camp out in Spain.
“I am where I want to be, if not slightly in front. It is good to be back doing what I do best and we aren’t going to stop here, hopefully we will get a few more fights in this year.”
Watch the video above to see joint interview with Baker and Cole in which they talk all things boxing and football.