Barker - I am world class
Londoner not taking anything for granted against Italian Rotolo
Last Updated: August 17, 2012 4:02pm
Darren Barker: set to return to the ring for the first time since October 2011
Darren Barker admits he would have "jacked it in" if had he been well beaten by Sergio Martinez, as he prepares to make his comeback from injury.
The British middleweight is finally set to step back between the ropes having not fought since last October, when he suffered a first professional loss against the No.1 ranked Martinez in Atlantic City.
However the Londoner was far from disgraced in defeat, eventually being stopped in the 11th round after a brave display on American soil.
A hip problem has sidelined the Londoner since then, but he is now finally fighting fit and ready to prove once again that he is world class when he takes Italian Simone Rotolo on September 8, live on Sky Sports.
"If I had got whitewashed or completely annihilated against Martinez then 100 per cent I would've jacked it in because I'm only in this sport to get to the heights and win a world title."
Darren Barker Quotes of the week
"I'm my own worst enemy and critic at times," Barker told Matchroom Boxing.
"I really needed to prove to myself that I am world class for me to continue. If I had got whitewashed or completely annihilated against Martinez then 100 per cent I would've jacked it in because I'm only in this sport to get to the heights and win a world title.
"In that fight I proved that I'm world class. It was unfortunate, I perforated my eardrum and I just couldn't continue anymore.
"It was fantastic being part of a massive occasion like that, a big fight. I've watched so many being a boxing fan and it was lovely taking part in one of them, headlining in Atlantic City."
Barker is back in action much closer to home at Alexandra Palace and is not underestimating Rotolo, a man who won the Italian middleweight belt in his last outing.
"I've watched a fair bit of him, he's quite elusive, he likes to move around on the back foot and he's quite difficult to pin down," Barker said.
"He's had 37 fights and only lost three, so he's experienced, he's had that many contests so he'll be in there, he'll be durable.
"It'll be a case of closing down the distance and ultimately trying to put on a good show to prove to everyone that I belong on the world stage."
Also on the same bill will be Tony Bellew, the Liverpudlian taking on the heavy-handed Edison Miranda, and middlweight duo Erick Ochieng, who will defend his English title against Ryan Toms, and John Ryder.