Barker fights for his late brother

September, 29, 2011
9/29/11
4:09
PM ET
I haven't found the pundit yet, if he exists, who thinks Darren Barker will upset middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City on Saturday. We will say this for Barker, he moved our dial a half notch towards believing he could upset Martinez when he with total conviction told NYFightblog that he's come to the States to shock the boxing world.

When asked to describe his style, he said he adapts to his foe, can punch "a bit," is elusive, has good handspeed, and that "I am here cause I truly believe I can win...I will win. I'm capable of pulling off a big upset."

"I'm not here to make up the number (to go the distance). I dedicated my life since I was 12 to boxing, it's all I've done, my family were fighters, all I've done since I was a kid, I'm here because I want to prove I'm the best middleweight in the world. I wouldn't let myself down. I haven't seen the best of Darren Barker and I believe you've seen the best of Sergio Martinez but you haven't seen the best of Darren Barker, so I'm looking forward to showing the fight fans across the world what I'm made of."

If you're the sort who roots for the underdog across the board, then this item will likely have you cheering on the Brit when you tune in to HBO Saturday night. He'll be giving an extra bit of effort against Martinez to honor his younger brother Gary, who was killed in a car accident in 2006. The boys were psyched to be pros together, but Gary's death scotched that plan. Darren held some guilt, wondering if he could have prevented the death, because it was late, and they'd had some drinks, and Gary said he wanted to visit his girl. He texted big bro, telling him he was fine to drive, and off he went. Darren saw the text the next day, after he learned the tragic news. "He was a massive talent, he would've definitely been in this position I was in, he was such a natural," Darren said of Gary.
Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for TheSweetScience.com.

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