Darren Barker defeats Darren McDermott
By Daniel Cann at ringside (May 23, 2009) DoghouseBoxing.com  
The Commonwealth Middleweight Champion Harrow’s ‘Dazzling’ Darren Barker had to see off the challenge of worthy opponent Darren McDermott of Dudley the self-styled ‘Black Country Body Snatcher’ to secure a big match with British Middleweight Champion Matthew Macklin.

Colourful nicknames for a colourful and entertaining contest. Barker looked sharp and focussed in his blue and silver trunks, he looked all business as the introductions were made to a partisan sell-out crowd. McDermott sporting a blond Mohawk hairstyle and wearing silver trunks with a red trim looked fired up and totally untroubled by the vociferous crowd.

The first began with Barker jabbing well and controlling things. McDermott was looking for openings. There were a few clinches and rough stuff from both on the inside. The better quality work was coming from the champion as Barker landed with double jabs and a chopping right over the top, a punch he often favours. The challenger did not look at all intimidated and met Barker with aggression and spirited defiance. His better work was suited to the inside and he tried to draw the champion inside.

There was more spoiling and wrestling and with about a minute in the round to go referee Dave Paris told them both to clean it up. They both exchanged spiritedly to close the round, McDermott warned for hitting Barker on the back of the head towards the end.

The second began again with Barker jabbing effectively. McDermott landed well to the body and they again fell into a clinch. On the break it was evident that the classier more accurate work was coming from Barker. Paris warned them again to tidy their work up. McDermott had success with a sweetly timed uppercut only for Barker to not miss a beat as he replied with a right cross.

Barker was throwing and scoring his customary looping shots from a distance, whereas McDermott was sitting down on his shots. McDermott’s best work was inside and at close range where his short punches scored. Both boxers were happy to trade and the fight was fought at a cracking pace.

The absorbing and relentless contest continued in the third. Barker again was successfully deploying the double jab. He caught McDermott a little off balance and the Black Country fighter leaned over Barker’s back, forcing a clinch. Barker continued to have success with his combinations. McDermott tried to turn it into an alley fight but Barker was too canny and he seemed to be in control now despite having to take a good uppercut from the challenger. Barker closed the round landing more over hand rights; it was ominous for the challenger, as he did not seem to have any defence or deterrent to these booming, looping punches.

The challenger surged forward gustily showing plenty of pluck and spirit but it was another round in the bank for Barker.

The fourth had Barker again displaying a classy accurate jab. He was letting the right hand go more frequently and finally started to back McDermott up. The challenger just could not afford to keep getting nailed like this.

In a clinch the challenger went to the body and showed his strength inside but he just was not given the opportunity to dictate for long, Barker was looking comfortable and in control. Suddenly a big right cross smashed through McDermott’s high guard sending him crashing to the canvas on his back. It was a perfectly timed fast punch, one you don’t see coming, although McDermott was getting hit with it all night. Somehow he managed to get back up at about ‘eight’ looking glassy eyed and dazed and the referee stopped it there and then.

Some thought the stoppage premature but the truth was Barker was finding McDermott with monotonous regularity and although he mounted a brave and spirited challenge I did not have McDermott winning a single round. There was no indication that he would have turned things around had the bout been allowed to continue.

The win sets up a mouth-watering showdown between Barker and Matthew Macklin later this year. What a fight that would be! For the moment Barker lapped up the applause from his adoring fans. He had impressed them and the audience watching home on ITV4. The Middleweight division in Britain looks healthy based on this display.

For more from Daniel, visit: www.danielcann.com

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