Gary Shaw Productions in association with Grange Old School Boxing, Matchroom Boxing and Greg Cohen Productions are pleased to announce the finalization of a fight between two of the middleweight division’s best and most exciting as IBF champion Daniel Geale (29-1, 15 KOs) has signed on to defend his title against highly regarded contenderDarren Barker (25-1, 16 KO’s).
The 12-round championship bout will take place at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on August 17, 2013. The event will be televised live on HBO BOXING AFTER DARK® beginning at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT.
Geale is fresh off of his redemption win over Anthony Mundine in their January rematch, while Barker has won 2 in a row since his KO loss in what was a very spirited effort against Sergio Martinez. Geale acknowledges that Barker is a tough challenge, but is quick to remind everyone that he has been matched tough for the past few fights in a row. This will be the first time the Australian superstar has fought on American soil.
"Barker has to be one of the toughest opponents I’ve faced on paper, but I’ve been in the ring with world titlists and it remains to be seen whether or not Barker can offer up anything extra," said Geale. "He is a top rated fighter amongst 160 pounders, but in the middleweight division that’s saying a lot because the entire division is dangerous. A guy in the top 10 at middleweight would be top 3-4 in almost any other division."
"Fighting in the United States for the first time is truly an honor." Geale continued. "I’m going to give the fans a great night of boxing while representing my country with dignity."
Geale mentioned that he hasn’t thought much about a game plan for his opponent, but he will prepare accordingly. While he has yet to put together a strategy on Barker, Geale is familiar with his work, specifically against Martinez and he knows that the fighter that steps in the ring with will likely be better than the one that gave Martinez so much trouble.
"I’m going to have my hands full, that’s for sure. Barker gave Martinez all sorts of fits, but he is an even better fighter now and I think he has improved a great deal since the Martinez fight. I’m not sure Martinez could beat Barker now, maybe Martinez planned on fighting Barker before he got too good? I want the fights that will give me the biggest challenges and I plan on handling Barker better than anyone has, it won’t be easy but that’s what I’ll attempted to do," Geale said.
After suffering his first defeat to Sergio Martinez, Barker has bounced back with two consecutive knockout victories. His quest to become a world champion is ever so close and he promises to bring the title back to the UK.
"This is a golden opportunity for me and I feel it’s my time to shine," Darren Barker stated. "It’s been a tough journey for me but I’m one fight away from realizing my dream and becoming World Champion. I’ve dedicated my entire life to this sport and since the Sergio Martinez fight I really feel like I’ve grown as a fighter. I can’t wait to bring that IBF World title back to the UK."