Friday, May 08, 2009

McDermott aims for Three in a Row

Darren McDermott is aiming for a title hat trick in 2009. The man known as the “Black Country Body Snatcher” started the year by winning the English Middleweight title and he’s set his sights on winning the Commonwealth and British titles before the end of the year. First up for McDermott is a shot at “Dazzling” Darren Barker’s Commonwealth title at the Watford Colosseum on May 23rd. The clash is live on ITV4 on the next Hennessy Sports event and will double as a final eliminator for the British Middleweight title. McDermott is planning on ending Barker’s unbeaten run and then heading into an all Midlands clash with newly crowned British Champ, Matthew Macklin later in the year. “There’s only going to be one winner when I meet Barker and that’s me,” predicted the Dudley native. “I’ve watched quite a bit of him. I saw him win the Commonwealth title in Manchester as an amateur and then I saw him win the Commonwealth belt as a pro as well against Ben Crampton. He’s a good technical boxer but I just think I’ve that bit more grit and strength and I think that will make the difference.” Despite his prediction McDermott believes that Barker represents a much tougher challenge than Midlands rival and current British title holder Macklin. “I rate Barker and I believe he’s the next best middleweight in the country after me. We’re proper middleweights but I think Macklin in all honesty isn’t a very big middleweight and I don’t read too much into his last win over Wayne Elcock.” Macklin’s win over Elcock was a bitter pill for McDermott to swallow. The 30-year-old challenged Elcock for the British title last year only to lose out on a cuts stoppage in just the second round. It remains the only defeat of McDermott’s 18 fight pro career and is still a sore point. “If you watch the first round you could see that I was already getting to Elcock, then I got cut and that was it. It was very frustrating and I should have got an immediate rematch. I knew whoever got in there with Elcock next was going to do a job on him and fair play to Macklin he did just that but it should have been me in there. Our fight only lasted two rounds but I could feel it in there that I was just going to be too big and too strong for him.” McDermott’s doomed British title challenge proved to be his only outing in 2008 but he’s determined to put things right this year. “Last year was one to forget, I only had those two rounds against Elcock and I made a New Years resolution to be a lot more active this year. I’d a good win to take the English title in February and I’d a good little warm up for Barker last month so I’m really sharp now at the moment. Training’s gone brilliant so there are no excuses. I’m feeling fantastic, my sparring’s gone well and I’m right where I want to be with my weight right now. “I’ve been made to wait for my chance but that has only made me more determined. This is my time to shine and this is going to be a big year for me. I’m going to take the Commonwealth title from Barker on the 23rd and then I’ll beat Macklin to take the British title.” Barker - McDermott headlines a fantastic night of championship boxing at the Watford Colosseum. In the chief support bout Matthew Thirwall and George Hillyard will battle it out in what promises to be a thrilling Southern Area Middleweight title clash (subject to Board approval) while undefeated heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury will have his sixth pro fight.


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