Darren Barker did not box to the game-plan against Daniel Geale

Last Updated: 06/09/13 10:06am

Darren Barker told Ringside how his eagerness to become a world champion almost cost him the IBF middleweight title.

The Londoner scooped gold in Atlantic City in August, recovering from being floored in the sixth round by Daniel Geale to defeat the Australian puncher on points.

But Barker - whose only career loss came at the hands of legendary Argentine Sergio Martinez - explained to Johnny Nelson that his will to win led him to stray from the pre-fight strategies that he had worked on with trainer Tony Sims.

"I wanted it so much that I got a bit carried away and started loading up and trading with Geale."

Darren Barker

"The game-plan was to stick to my boxing, stick to the centre of the ring and double up on attacks because Geale has good footwork and moved in and out of range well," said Barker on the first Ringside of the new boxing season.

"I did that in glimpses, but because I wanted it so much - I have been boxing for 19 years and never wanted anything so bad - I got a bit carried away and started loading up and trading with him.

"I was sure I had the fight won, even though Geale was awkward, quite hard to get close to and quite hard to hit, and I proved I was worthy of being a world champion - so I thank whoever helped me get up!"

Manic

Barker is set to defend his newly-acquired strap against Germany's former WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm in his next bout - but says he is still coming to terms with reaching the zenith of the boxing world.

The Barnet-born pugilist treaded on the turf that belongs to his beloved Chelsea when he paraded his belt at Stamford Bridge during the Blues' recent Premier League encounter with Aston Villa.

And the 31-year-old - who knocked off Wales' Kerry Hope and Italy's Simone Rotolo before he conquered Tasmanian ace Geale - was honoured by the reception from both sets of supporters.

"August 17 is a night I will never forget and it is still sinking in," added Barker. "I have been away with the missus and calmed down a bit but everything is still a bit manic.

"I am a season-ticket holder at Chelsea and am used to watching 41,500 people cheer for the players so it was fascinating to walk out at Stamford Bridge and get cheered myself.

"Fair play to the Aston Villa fans as they cheered as well - but I really did feel that the whole of the country were behind me, too."