Manager and trainer Tony Sims believes his fighter, Darren Barker, has a chance against middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez this Saturday -- or, at least, he believes that Martinez isn't all he's cracked up to be. From Mitch Abramson at BoxingScene.com:
"The last three fights he’s had, have obviously given him that name. Before that, he had no name. ... [Darren is] a proper middleweight. Martinez isn’t a proper middleweight, he’s a light middleweight. He’s fought one middleweight in his whole career, which was Kelly Pavlik."
While there are some fair points from Sims about Martinez's record, which can be picked at and picked apart like anyone else's record, he's ignoring that Martinez has fought better competition than Barker has, and by a good bit, too.
Who has Barker ever beaten? Affif Belghecham? Domenico Spada? Danny Butler, Darren McDermott, Steven Bendall? Not to mention the fact that Barker has struggled a little bit with stamina and keeping a pace in his last two fights, the wins over Belghecham and Spada, which were supposed to be easier than they were.
Darren Barker is a fine fighter and is getting his shot. But he's an underdog, and a huge one, for a reason. Those who have seen him in action know that the talent is there, but the flaws are real. If he's not better than ever -- by a lot -- he is primed to be chum for Martinez.