Sergio Martinez vs. Darren Barker: Not Afraid

By Eric Raskin

Photo: Will HartLast year, Sergio Martinez beat the so-called “most avoided man in boxing.” And putting an end to Paul Williams’ run atop those “most ducked” lists (by way of the 2010 Knockout of the Year, no less) transformed Martinez into the new star who struggles to find a proper challenger.

So while “Maravilla” (Spanish for “Wonder”) waits to see if he can lure Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather up two weight divisions, or Miguel Cotto up one division, he’s doing the best he can to keep busy against whatever 160-pounders are willing to fight him. And though the boxing world doesn’t know much about London’s “Dazzling” Darren Barker, the man who challenges Martinez this Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, we do know this much: Barker is very much willing.

Barker took to social media early in the summer to call out the Argentine champ, and the result was the most progressive contract negotiation in boxing history.