UK Boxing: Darren Barker; Tony Jeffries; Steve Bunce

LONDON (26th March) Hennessy Sports are pleased to announce that unbeaten Barnet slickster Dazzling Darren Barker will be looking to add the prestigious European Middleweight belt to his British and Commonwealth titles on Friday 9th April at the Alexandra Palace in London which will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 10pm. The promotional co-feature with Matchroom Sports will also see Audley Harrison take on Michael Sprott for the vacant European Heavyweight title after Albert Sosnowski relinquished his title to challenge for the WBC World Heavyweight title against Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko..

Barker, a former commonwealth games gold medal winner, is relishing the chance to fight for the European title, but believes it was always his destiny to one day add this belt to his collection.

“I was always going to be European champion at some point, but with Mathew Macklin vacating the belt due to injury, it’s afforded me the opportunity sooner rather than later”. Said the unbeaten Barnet man whose record stands at an impressive 21-0 (14ko).

In the opposite corner on the night will be Frenchman Affif Belghecham whose last outing was against Irishman Andy Lee back in November. The former EU and current French Champion took Lee to points in a hard fought 10 rounder, giving Lee a few hairy moments in the 10th and final round but the referee handed the victory to the Irishman.

Mick Hennessy was delighted to be able to give Barker this title opportunity and believes that he has got what it takes to reach the very top.

“Darren Barker is a brilliant talent and a consummate professional. In Tony Sims he has an excellent trainer and together I believe they can go all the way to genuine World title glory”. Said Hennessy emphatically.

“It’s no secret that the UKs leading middleweights want no part of him and very rarely mention his name. They all realise he is the complete package”.

Tickets for the show at Alexandra Palace are on sale from the Seetickets box office on 0871 230 7148 or via, tickets are priced at £30 for unreserved seating and £60 for ringside.

For further information and ticket details on this event please check out,,


TONY JEFFRIES got one up on potential rivals James Degale and Carl Froch when he won the Lonsdale Challenge in Nottingham.

The challenge involved the three boxers taking part in a variety of exercises against the clock to see who could register the most repetitions.

It was held to mark Lonsdale's 50 year anniversary which has seen the sporting brand associated with some of boxing's greatest ever fighters including Muhammad Ali, Joe Calzaghe and Henry Cooper.

Jeffries was pitted against the clock to see how many of each exercise he could register in a 30 second time period.

He left his rivals toiling with 104 punches thrown, 53 tuck jumps and 44 sit ups as Olympic Gold medallist Degale and WBC super middleweight champion Froch found 'The Mighty Mackem' too hot to handle.

"It was great fun and I'm happy with my totals," explained Olympic Bronze medallist Jeffries.

"It was good to see both James and Carl as I get on well with both of them. We had a laugh when we did it as well.

"It was only for 30 seconds but it was tough because it was flat out the whole time!

"I don't think anyone expected me to win because I was the underdog.James is an Olympic champion and Carl is a world champion so I'm happy to come out on top."

Jeffries returns on the undercard of Rendall Munroe's WBC super-bantamweight title eliminator against Victor Terrazas at Coventry Skydome on April 23 and is itching to get back in action following an injury lay-off.

He said: "I can't wait to get back in there. Training has gone really really well and I'm just focused on putting in a good performance in April."

Tickets for the Coventry show are on sale, prices £30, £50 and £70 by logging onto or by calling 0871 226 1508. Boxers on the bill will also be selling tickets.

The Fixer By Steve Bunce


Publication Date: 1 April 2010
£9.99 Trade Paperback

Ray Lester makes fights happen. He is a fixer, putting fighters together to battle it out for victory. He builds a bridge, walks across it and guides boxers to the negotiating table. Ray Lester is very good at his job.

Then one morning Ray’s life changes when a girl turns up on his doorstep asking for help. She desperately needs to find her father, an old-school Vegas crooner and man from the fight game. Ray agrees to help, before flying, with his questions and 30,000 other Brits with their union jacks, to Sin City to watch Hatton take on Mayweather. But before long the body count begins to rise dramatically in Atlantic City. The girl’s father has vanished and there are dangerous men looking for him. Ray finds himself in over his head when the boys in leather jackets start to hunt him down too, and he is easier to find than the missing man.

Ray flees to London and ends up in Blackpool, scouring the streets for the man, his daughter and about six-million dollars. At the same time, he needs desperately to avoid being found by the wrong people.

The Fixer is a fast-paced boxing thriller that plunges into the murky secret domain of deals, fights and fighters. This is a world beyond the glitz, glamour and glory, where men like Ray Lester operate. Written in a style that will appeal to fans of Budd Schulberg’s work, The Fixer grants exclusive access to a realm where the fixer is king.

Steve Bunce has worked as a journalist and broadcaster since 1985. He has been at five Olympic Games and reported on over fifty fights in Las Vegas. As well as being a regular columnist for Boxing Monthly, he also contributes to The Independent and the Sunday Herald. He has a monthly boxing show on BBC Radio Five Live and a weekly sports chat show on BBC Radio London. He is currently touring the UK with his one-man show, Bunce on Boxing

Article posted on 28.03.2010

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