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8th March 2013, 4:56pm

Barker vs Rotolo Betting: Darren Barker can set himself up for the big fights with stoppage win at Wembley


Darren Barker is back in action on Saturday night when he fights the Italian Simone Rotolo in front of the Sky Sports cameras at the Wembley Arena. This is a big fight for Barker because the domestic middleweight scene is really hotting up and there are some big fights to be made for good money and I’m sure he’ll want to be a part of them. He goes into the fight as a 1/16 favourite with William Hill.

Injuries have set Barker back throughout the last three or four years but he looked as good as ever last time out in destroying Kerry Hope in four one sided rounds. That was an excellent response to the defeat to Sergio Martinez in his fight before that and it may just be that he’s seen the level he needs to reach to be a world champion during that fight with Martinez where he was game and spirited but ultimately outclassed.

Simone Rotolo merits respect. He’s the Italian middleweight champion and at 37 and after 38 fights he knows his way around a boxing ring but he hasn’t been all that active in the last few years and only two of his last eight fights have been against opponents with a winning record so it is no exaggeration to say he moves up in class for this fight. Rotolo tends to operate on the back foot and could look to frustrate Barker.

I expect Darren Barker to win this fight and I think he can send out a message to the likes of Matthew Macklin, Martin Murray and Andy Lee and look good in this fight. Barker hasn’t had many rounds recently so it might take him a few rounds to find his range and expose the target but come the second half of the fight the Londoner can come on strong and force a second half stoppage.

Back D.Barker to beat S.Rotolo in rounds 7-12 for a 4/10 stake at 2.88 with Ladbrokes

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