In August, Darren Barker won the IBF middleweight title in a bruising battle against Aussie hard man Daniel Geale, with the fighter getting up off the floor to capture the win and is now aiming for a lengthy (and less painful reign) as champion. In three weeks time, he travels to Stuttgart to make his first defence against the highly-rated German Felix Sturm.
Relatively unknown outside of the ring, Barker knows that a win against Sturm will cement his 'champion' status and propel him towards the kind of profile that has been enjoyed by the likes of David Haye, Carl Froch and Amir Khan. With his name set to start falling into the 'household' category, it's a great time to get to know the Barnet-boxer and you can read his full interview next week where the clobber-obsessed 31-year-old speaks exclusively to Topman Generation.
In Froch and Groeves we have the two best super-middleweights in England go head to head in Manchester tonight and the fight couldn't be bigger, with two fighters clearly hate each other, tickets selling out in under five minutes and Sky are reporting astronomical Pay-Per-View figures. It's a classic 'seasoned champ' versus 'gobby challenger' affair and Darren has sparred with both of them. For you betting lads – he's got a prediction.
"I'm backing Froch 100%. I don't mind George at all, I know him and I like him – but it's too much too soon for him. Carl is one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world and he hits so hard. Even with the bigger 16oz gloves and head guards on, you feel everything – he makes me happy I'm a middleweight."
Darren has sparred both, but Froch and Groves have also sparred each other and reckons this will give 'The Cobra' a mental advantage.
"Carl put George down in sparring and it is only sparring, but it gives him the knowledge that he can hurt him even with the extra protection. I think with 10oz gloves, George is in all sorts of trouble. I see Carl stopping him late on, 10th round or thereabouts."
Better place your money now, then.
You can follow Darren on twitter @DarrenBarker82 and for the best boxing odds for this weekend head to bwin.com.