Barker faces retirement after dislocating hip in second-round stoppage defeat to Sturm
By Martin Domin - dailymail.co.uk
Darren Barker waited a fighting lifetime to win the world title of which he had always dreamed but after holding it for only a brief four months he lost that IBF middleweight belt inside two devastating rounds.
Down and out: Darren Barker was knocked down twice in the second round before the towel came in
Sturm, the renaissance man, hungrily grasped the chance to become Germany’s first four-time world champion. Graciously, he immediately offered to travel to London for a re-match but retirement may be beckoning Barker now.
Painful: Barker falls to the mat after a hit by challenger Felix Sturm during Saturday's defeat
'It's really disappointing. We had a game plan and he'd done loads of sparring. You don't imagine this is going to happen in a fight, especially in the first round.
Struggle: Barker exchanges punches with challenger Sturm but the end of the fight was nearing
When he staggered to his feet this time his face was contorted in pain. Sturm closed in for the finish and Sims threw in the towel and American referee Mark Nelson hurried to rescue Barker from worsening punishment.
Fast start: Sturm impressed from the first bell as he won a world title for the fourth time
Good as his word, he opened up with a salvo from the first bell and then exchanged with Barker, winning the opener by virtue of his crisper left-right combinations.
Party time: Sturm celebrates his victory over Barker in front of his home fans in StuttgartThe consolation for Barker is that by agreeing to defend his title in Germany he secured the biggest purse of his career, reportedly €1million.
Sturm, his own promoter, had considered it worth making that investment to regain a world title against a man he believed he could defeat.
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