Boxing: Barker claims IBF title

British boxer Darren Barker triumphed in a split decision

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British boxer Darren Barker triumphed in a split decision against Daniel Geale in a gruelling contest to secure IBF world middleweight title in New York on Saturday night.

Barker had previously lost his previous title shot against Sergio Martinez in 2011 but he showed grit and determination to ensure a different outcome this time around.

The 31-year-old started strongly and took the fight to his Australian opponent to get the opening rounds in the bag.

However, the balance of power swung the way of the defending champion as he started to put together some nice combinations with no response.

The Brit hit the canvas in the sixth round after he was caught with a powerful left hook to the body, just getting up in time to beat the referee’s count.

The man from Tasmania looked to be in control of the bout but Barker was not to prepared to accept defeat and battled back to finish strongly.

Barker said: “I take my hat off to Daniel Geale.

“He’s a great champion and a tough, tough man.

“He caught me right in the solar plexus and completely took my breath away from me.

“I was in absolute bits. I was gone. But as the seconds went on my brother and daughter, they got into my head.

“I showed I’ve got heart and a lot of people didn’t think I did.”

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