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Barker lands shot at Martinez's title

ESPN staff
July 20, 2011 « The FA Cup is born | Chartbeat test »
Darren Barker beat Domenico Spada for the vacant European title in his last fight © Getty Images
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Britain's Darren Barker will fight WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez at the Boardwark Hall in New Jersey on October 1.

Barker, who clinched the vacant European strap in his last fight, is unbeaten from his 23 professional bouts, with 14 of his wins coming inside the distance.

But despite that impressive record, he faces a massive step up in quality when he takes on Argentina's Martinez, ranked second in Ring Magazine's revered pound-for-pound ratings.

"I cannot wait to get in the ring with Sergio Martinez," Barker said. "I have massive respect for him as a fighter but he has the title that I have always wanted and on October 1 I'm coming to take it.

"Fighting in America for the first time is really exciting too and I hope that my loyal fans will come over in droves to be a part of the biggest night of my career. I am in boxing to test myself against the very best in the business and I believe I can shock the world on October 1."

Martinez (47-2-2, 26KOs) cemented his status as one of the planet's finest pugilists with a sickening knockout of Paul Williams in November 2010. The 36-year-old can also boast a win against Kelly Pavlik.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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