Thursday, September 24, 2009

Barker backs the Blues

Commonwealth Middleweight champ “Dazzling” Darren Barker and his beloved Chelsea both have the same goals for the coming season – to prove that they are the best in England and Europe. The undefeated 27-year-old will meet up with the Chelsea squad at training on Friday although the Barnet man says he won’t be kicking too many footballs. “If I’m honest I’m pretty rubbish with my feet,” admitted Barker. “I’ll stick to the boxing but I’ve been a big Chelsea fan since I was a kid and I’ve been to all the home games so far this season.” Barker received the invite to join up with Carlo Ancelotti’s men after star player Joe Cole was ringside for his last fight. “Joe’s a big boxing fan,” revealed Barker. “He was at my last fight in Watford (a fourth round KO of Darren McDermott) and it was great to have him supporting me. I think he’s managed to convert a few more of the players to boxing and they are going to come along to the next one as well.” First up for Barker though is a trip to Chelsea’s training ground in Cobham on Friday morning. “It will be good to see their training setup. It will be a warm up session ahead of their game with Wigan so it will probably be light enough, I wouldn’t mind putting them through one of my boxing sessions at some stage though!” Barker is confident that new manager Carlo Ancelotti can finally deliver the one thing that’s been missing at Stamford Bridge in recent seasons – the Champions League. “He’s come in over the summer and already it looks like he’s going to do a great job. Obviously winning the Premiership would be great but it’s the Champions League that has been the missing piece and I think that’s the one the fans really want.” Barker will be hoping for continental honours of his own this season. He looks set to add the British title to his Commonwealth belt before the end of the year and he’s hoping to join The Blues on the European honours list by the end of the season. “It would be a dream come true to walk out at the Bridge and be able to show off the British, Commonwealth and European title belts. “I had been due to fight Matthew Macklin for the British title but he found a way to swerve that fight and vacate the title rather than fight me. He’s now fighting Amin Asikainen instead for the European title. “The Macklin fight was one I really wanted but hopefully now I can push on, win the British title and then take on the winner of that fight early next year.”

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