Darren Barker has told Matthew Macklin that their long awaited fight must happen this year if they get through their upcoming title fights.
Barker takes on Domenico Spada at London’s Olympia on Saturday night for the vacant European Middleweight title live on Sky Sports. Should the Londoner regain the title he was forced to surrender when he pulled out of a defence against Macklin through injury.
The 28 year-old aims to pick up the strap for the second time against the tough Italian and will then become an unlikely fan of Macklin when he faces Felix Sturm in June for the WBA Super World Middleweight title – with a win for the Brummie would bring the highly anticipated fight with Barker a step closer.
“He's just swerved me basically – I want to fight him and prove that I'm the best, it's just a shame that deep down he knows that I'll beat him,” said Barker.
“Everyone wants to watch us fight and in that respect I am annoyed at him for not taking me on. Why not boost the profile of the sport here by setting up these big British fights?
“I can only imagine it's because he knows I am going to beat him, because I would beat him and I've got his number all day long, I'm the best in Europe, the best in Britain.”
“It was generating interest from the general public, even from people who knew nothing about boxing, but they were asking me about fighting Macklin and there was a buzz. If you look at his last performances they are poor and to see him ranked so highly gets to me, it really does.”
The unbeaten 28 year-old insists though that his ambition to fight Macklin is nothing personal against the Irishman, but is simply borne out of annoyance that this British box-office clash has still to come to fruit.
“There's no hatred there, but it's frustration from me – from the bottom of my heart there's no way Matthew Macklin can beat me and it's annoying because I want to prove it to everyone - all the Macklin fans out there and the Barker haters for whatever reason, I want to show that I'm the number one and I'm not content with number two.
Tickets for Darren Barker v Domenico Spada on April 30 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.