Daniel Gaele and Darren Barker have traveled almost the same path in the boxing world. Paths that will cross for the first time on Saturday, August 17th.
HBO Boxing After Dark’s main event features these two championship caliber boxers. For Barker this will be his second shot at winning a belt, his first ended on the wrong side of a stoppage at the hands of world class middleweight Sergio Martinez.
Gaele is still riding the momentum from a huge win over Felix Strum in Germany that allowed him to capture the second of his two titles. He’s had two defenses since then and is fighting for the first time in the United States.
Gaele had this to say about Barker,
“I’ve seen some of his pro fights and he seems very confident about beating me. He’s a smart boxer, a real thinker. He’s nice and rangy and he likes to pick people off; use his speed, skills, footwork and frustrate people. He fought the WBC champ Sergio Martinez and was able to out-think him for much of the fight until he made a couple of bad errors and was stopped late. Barker has a lot of ability.”
Gaele lacked no confidence when asked about the outcome of the fight,
“It’s going to be a bit of a chess match. It will come down to who wants it the most and I’m sure I want the title more.”
Don’t think for a second that Barker isn’t just as confident as Gaele. Barker went as far as predicting a victory.
“This is what it’s all about – reaching the pinnacle of your sport should be everyone’s goal and I’m close to it now. I truly believe I’m better than him, our paths have mirrored the other; we both boxed in the 2002 Commonwealth Games, he won gold at welterweight, I won at Light Welterweight, we boxed in the World Championships in 2003 in the same weight but on opposite sides of the draw, and I’ve kept an eye on his pro career as I have on a number of others and I’m very confident, I know what he’s all about, I know what I’m all about and I know how to beat him so I can’t wait for August 17.”
All of their familiarity and respect won’t matter very much on Saturday when these two fighters meet for a chance to climb the Middleweight ranks & to raise the IBF Middleweight title.