‘Dazzling’ Darren Barker returns to the ring on April 30 to face Domenico ‘Volcano’ Spada for the vacant European Middleweight title at London Olympia.
The unbeaten British and Commonwealth champion will face the Italian in Kensington live on Sky Sports. Barker and Spada are ranked six and seven in the WBC rankings and their showdown for the European belt could open the door for a World title shot in the summer against the winner of Sebastian Zbik and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr’s bout on June 4 in Los Angeles.
Barker vacated the European title in September after injury forced him to pull out of a showdown with Matthew Macklin in Birmingham and the pair were due to meet at a rearranged date. But Macklin withdrew and vacated the belt to travel to America for his since postponed fight with Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright, Barker now has the chance to regain his title against Spada, who is the number one contender for the belt.
The 2002 Commonwealth Gold medallist won the European title for the first time with a unanimous decision win over Affif Belghecham at Alexandra Palace, London last April – the 22nd win of his professional career. Barker claimed the vacant Commonwealth belt in November 2007 against Ben Crampton at York Hall, Bethnal Green, and on the fourth defence of his title he picked up the British crown with a seventh round stoppage of Danny Butler in Brentwood, Essex in November 2009.
“This is a huge fight in the career of Darren Barker and I know that he will be ready for whatever Domenico Spada brings on the April 30,” said Barker’s promoter Eddie Hearn. “Darren has all the tools to become a World Champion and with number six and seven in the WBC rankings meeting here, the winner will put himself right in line for a shot at the winner of the Zbik vs. Chavez fight in June. I'm excited for Darren and expect an electric atmosphere at Olympia from his faithful army of fans.”
30 year-old Spada takes a 32-3 record into the fight with Barker, with two of those defeats coming in WBC Interim title fights in Germany against Zbik to unanimous decisions.
Tickets for Darren Barker v Domenico Spada are available now from Matchroom Sport priced £35 unreserved, £60 ringside, £80 inner ringside and £120 VIP – to buy call Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.