Barker battles back to beat Geale and claim IBF title

18/08/2013 07:58

Darren Barker (26-1) won the IBF middleweight title after a brutal battle were he had to climb off the canvas to claim a split decision victory over Australian Daniel Geale (29-2) in Atlantic City on Saturday night.

The judges scored it 116-111,114-113 in favour of Barker and 114-113 for Geale. 

The 31-year-old Barnet fighter was floored by a body shot in the 6th but recovered to secure an emotional victory on the scorecards, which he dedicated to his brother, who he lost in a car accident in 2006.

Barker started his second tilt at world honours, following an 11th round KO defeat to WBC titlist Sergio Martinez in 2011, determined and was landing early shots. However, when Geale connected with a left hook to the body to send Barker down, the end appeared to be nigh as Geale rallied punches in on his dazed opponent. But Barker composed himself and survived the onslaught.

The challenger went on the attack in the 7th and was landing plenty of punches in a fight that had turned into a gruelling affair.

Barker landed a fine combination in the 10th and was on the front foot again in the 11th but Geale landed some nice punches in the final round. 

On the undercard in a huge upset, Kiko Martinez (29-4) defeated Jhonatan Romero (23-1) by TKO in the 6th round to take the IBF super bantamweight title.

Martinez charged out from the opening bell winging wide power punches. A left hand caught Romero midway through the 1st round and had him in some trouble.

Romero came out in the 2nd and wanted to box and move, but was unable to keep the Spanard at bay. Martinez repeatedly snapped the head back of the champion with power punches.

A clash of heads opened up a cut to Romero's left eye in the 4th.

The end came in the 6th when a series of shots hurt Romero and wobbled him. Martinez landed a combination to the head with the Columbian trapped in a corner, the referee stepped in and waved an end to the bout with Romero bloodied and staggered.