Darren Barker to defend IBF belt against Felix Sturm in Germany
Darren Barker will make the first defence of his IBF middleweight title against Felix Sturm in Germany on December 7.
Last Updated: 02/10/13 9:58am
Barker won the belt with a courageous points win over Daniel Geale in August and has agreed to travel to Sturm's home patch in Stuttgart to defend his title, live on Sky Sports.
Sturm has proved notoriously hard to beat on his own territory as he held Martin Murray to a draw and claimed a controversial points win over Matthew Macklin on their trips to Germany.
But promoter Eddie Hearn has added an option for an immediate rematch in London if Barker is beaten.
"We have been in discussions with Felix Sturm's team since the Daniel Geale fight, and with purse bids approaching they made their intentions quite clear," said Hearn.
"Felix is the fight we want both financially and from a legacy perspective and once we were able to introduce our necessary demands, which included a potential second fight in the UK and neutral officials, then this was an opportunity Darren could not turn down.
"Even though defeat would lead to an immediate rematch in London, we are all confident that Darren will defend his title in style on December 7 in Germany."
Barker added on Twitter: "AND STILL!!!! Just to let you know I had choices and I picked this fight over there and come 7th December you will see why! #BarkervSturm"