While newly crowned middleweight titleholder Darren Barker returned home to England this week and is celebrating his split-decision victory over Daniel Geale in their fantastic brawl on Saturday night in Atlantic City, N.J., you knew it would only be a matter of time until contenders started to call him out.
One such fighter is his countryman, Martin Murray (25-1-1, 11 KOs), who dropped the real middleweight champion, Sergio Martinez, and gave him all he could handle in a debatable decision loss on Martinez's turf in Argentina in April.
"We're both world class fighters. He's a world champion and I should have become one, arguably against [Felix] Sturm [in a 2011 draw] and definitely against Martinez, so we've got the chance to get a good middleweight era going again," Murray said. "Me and Barker have both said we want to get involved in big British world title fights and him beating Geale makes that possible. We've got a chance here for us to put on one the biggest fights out there. It'd be a massive event and my Twitter has gone crazy with people asking about it since his win.
"It's up to Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport [Barker's promoter] whether it can happen, but I can't see any reason why it shouldn't."
Barker's first defense is supposed to be a mandatory against Sturm, a fight Hearn has said he would like to put on in London in December. But Murray certainly is a worthy challenger. It would seem logical that the fight could happen after Barker (26-1, 16 KOs) satisfies his mandatory obligation, assuming he wins.
"I watched [Barker] as a fan on the weekend and regardless of whether I get shot or not, I'm made up for him," Murray said. "He fought his heart out against Geale and he achieved his goal and I couldn't be more pleased. We've spoke a few times over Twitter and also when we were on [the British boxing television studio show] 'Ringside' and we get on well. I also know we both want the fight. I don't know what the situation is with his mandatory, but his trainer, Tony Simms, has also talked about fighting me so they must be thinking about it."