Barker’s back in the ring and there’s a tasty Italian on the menu

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 August 2012

Darren Barker is back in action

Darren Barker is back in action


Darren Barker makes his first appearance since losing his valiant World title challenge against Sergio Martinez.

Darren Barker makes his first appearance since losing his valiant World title challenge against Sergio Martinez, when he faces Italian middleweight champion Simone Rotolo for the IBF Inter-Continental middleweight title at the Alexandra Palace on September 8.

In a joint top-liner, Liverpool’s Tony Bellew will face Edison Miranda – the two-time IBF super middleweight world title challenger – for the WBC International light-heavyweight title on an action-packed Matchroom bill with six title fights live on Sky Sports.

Barker, the former undefeated European middleweight champion, fights for the first time since his Atlantic City showdown last October and will be tested by Rotolo, who won the Italian middleweight strap in March with a 10th-round stoppage.

That victory extended the 36-year-old’s unbeaten run to seven since he lost a controversial split decision for the European title against former World champion Sebastian Sylvester in 2007.

It is no easy return for Barker, who is confident that an operation has cured the hip trouble that has restricted his movement throughout his career.

“I’ll be back better than ever,” promised the former Repton amateur, guided by manager Tony Sims, who has several members of his Hainault-based stable on the big Matchroom bill

Lee Purdy makes a third defence of his English welterweight title. Hotly tipped Islington middleweight John Ryder will also be in title action, and the eagerly-awaited pro debut of former amateur star Martin Ward also takes place.

Also on the show, popular unbeaten Chris ‘The Flash’ Evangelou fights for the first title of his career when he tackles Danny Connor for the vacant Southern Area light-welterweight title.

Also on the undercard, cruiserweight prospect Wadi Camacho and Ryan ‘Crash Bang’ Taylor complete the line-up in Camacho’s seventh pro outing.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had a big show in the capital and we are back with a bang on September 8,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. There are six title fights on a packed 11-fight card.”

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