15 July 2010
Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker promised a thrilling fight to live up to the big stage they have been given by promoter Frank Warren.
The pair meet in a European middleweight title clash on September 18 at the LG Arena, Birmingham.
It’s all part of the Magnificent Seven event – which actually features nine championship fights – that forms part of a big night of boxing live and exclusive on Sky Box Office – and it is heading for a 13,000 sell out.
“This fight was scheduled for two years ago, but I’m glad it didn’t happen then,” said Macklin on the first of a two-city press tour taking in London and Birmingham.
“It would have been good but it would have gone on in a leisure centre somewhere.
“Now it is for a bigger belt and it’s going to be at the LG Arena, one of the biggest arenas in the country. It was 20 years ago that Benn and Eubank fought there at middleweight.
“This is just as big a fight and can be just as good.”
Barker added, “I’ve been preparing for a fight like this ever since I turned professional.
“I’m glad I’ve got it because it will be a defining fight for me. I might have the British, Commonwealth and European titles, but I’m not the number one middleweight in the country. I will be when I beat Macklin.
“He’s a great fighter but I think although we are both 28, I am a fresher 28. He’s had some hard fights and that is going to be a problem when he fights me.”
Warren, who marks his 30th year in boxing with one of his most ambitious cards, said much was at stake for both men.
“Whoever wins is probably going to fight for a world title,” he said.
“I’m talking to Matt at the moment about that, and if Darren wins then his people will be working hard for him. Both these boys have got good rankings with the governing bodies, and a win is going to bring an improvement.”