July 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Former middleweight world champion Darren Barker (left) has announced his retirement from boxing.
Barker, also a former Commonwealth Games champion, trained by Tony Sims at his Hainault gym, climbed off the canvas to take the title last year against Daniel Geale in Atlantic City.
But in his title defence, against Felix Sturm in December, a return of his old hip injuries flared up and the 31-year-old has taken the decision to bow out of the sport.
Barker dedicated his success to his family, friends, fans and also to his late brother, Gary.
His brother tragically died in a car crash in 2006 at the age of just 19.
“I’m so proud and happy at what I’ve achieved,” he said.
“When I won my first national title as a kid I could have retired a happy boy then so to have won all the major titles possible for me I’m a very, very happy man,” said Barker.
“I did this all for my brother Gary – we did it mate! I’m now looking forward to sitting back and being a keen fan and wishing all my fellow countrymen all the best in their careers.
“Tony Sims constantly got the best out of me and he’s more than a fantastic trainer, he’s a mentor and a very good friend.”