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Darren Barker primed for Sturm defence in Germany

IBF Middleweight champion says he’s in the perfect place ahead of Stuttgart test

Darren Barker has vowed to shine in his IBF World Middleweight title defence against Felix Sturm at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart, live on Sky Sports 1 from 9pm.

The Londoner faces his first World title defence against the German hero, who is attempting to become the first four-time German boxing champion – but Barker said that won’t be happening tomorrow night.

“When preparation has been perfect you look forward to getting in there and that’s where I am right now – I just can’t wait to get in there and do my thing,” said Barker, who weighed in at 11st 5lbs, lighter Sturm who scaled 11st 5lbs 6oz.

“I’ve got a small and close team around me and that’s how I like it. I’ve had a good week here, it’s been enjoyable, we’ve been treated really well and the German fans have been great. I’ve got a lot of fans out here and they were brilliant in the weigh-in, there’s even more coming tomorrow and it’s going to be a great atmosphere.

“The confidence and belief from winning a World title is unreal – I’ve always believed I’m World class, but winning that World title I know that I am World class because I’ve proved it. I am as hungry as I’ve ever been, I’m proud to be a World champion and I want to have a long reign.

“Coming out to Germany to fight one of their great champions is a big statement. I’ve won the title abroad and I’m defending it abroad – it’s a sign of my belief that I will beat him and move towards securing a legacy in this great division.”