Sturm regains world title after dethroning Barker

Sturm regains world title after dethroning Barker

BERLIN- Agence France-Presse
Sturm regains world title after dethroning Barker

Challenger Felix Sturm (R) and IBC World Champion Darren Barker during their middleweight title. AP photo

Germany’s Felix Sturm has become a world champion for the fourth time after winning back the IBF middleweight belt by dethroning England’s Darren Barker with a second-round technical knock-out.

Having lost the belt in September 2012 to Australia’s Daniel Geale, who subsequently lost on a split decision to Barker in August, the 34-year-old Sturm regained his crown by putting the Englishman down twice in the second round.

Barker beat the count twice, but with Sturm poised to finish him off, the Englishman’s coach Tony Sims threw in the towel at 2:09 mins of the second round as Barker lost in the first defence of his world title.

“I dedicate this win to my family,” said Sturm, who has 18 knock-outs from 39 wins in 45 professional bouts with three defeats and a drawn on his record.

“It was good that it was so short, it meant my wife didn’t have to suffer.”

“Darren Barker is a great fighter, but I caught him well.

“Thank god it has all worked out.” Although a rematch was in the prematch fight contract, Barker’s trainer Sims told reporters the Englishman had dislocated his hip during the fight and had gone to hospital in Stuttgart on Dec. 7 for an x-ray.

Barker underwent double hip replacement surgery in 2010 and pointed to his hip at the end of the fight, clearly troubled by the joint.

Sims said the injury would almost certainly prevent a rematch taking place in London next year, and admitted he was uncertain as to whether his fighter would box again.

This was only the second defeat of Barker’s career having also lost to WBC middleweight champion Sergio Gabriel Martinez of Argentina in October 2011.