Darren Barker delighted with preparations for world title fight against Felix Sturm

Last Updated: 06/12/13 9:58am

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Darren Barker says he is enjoying the build-up and is feeling fitter than ever ahead of Saturday's bout with Felix Sturm.

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Darren Barker has warned Felix Sturm that he is fitter than ever ahead of Saturday night's world title clash.

Barker won the IBF middleweight title with a points win over Daniel Geale in August and makes the first defence against Sturm in Germany this Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

"I'm not going to get any fitter. I'm as fit as ever, so it's about getting nice and sharp and just getting a few rounds out really."
Darren Barker

The British fighter is tapering down his preparations after an intense training camp and believes he is in even better condition than when he took the belt from Geale in America.

"It's about not doing too much to be honest. I always like to have that feeling of wanting to do more," he told Sky Sports News.

"I'm not going to get any fitter. I'm as fit as ever, so it's about getting nice and sharp and just getting a few rounds out really.

"I'm enjoying it, having everyone around. Being in Stuttgart, it's a lot closer to home than Atlantic City, so I'm enjoying it."

Trainer Tony Sims admits he carefully managed Barker's workload during the lengthy preparations and is confident his fighter is ready for Sturm.

"We've worked together for such a long time. I know him inside out, when he needs a rest and when he needs to work.

"We've done 10 hard weeks and he's right near the weight now, so roll on Saturday night really."

Recapture form

Sturm is hoping to regain a world title after his long reign as WBA champion was ended last year.

The 34-year-old dismissed suggestions he is past his best and vowed to recapture the form that saw him hold the belt for almost five years.

Speaking earlier this week, he said: "I believe I'll beat him clearly. I have great experience in big fights and I'm in fantastic shape.

"Trust me, my time is far from over and whoever thinks I'm done is making a big mistake.

"I re dedicated myself to the sport I love and it paid off. I had no trouble making weight. I'm as fit as they come. He'll be in for a surprise on Saturday night. I can't wait!"

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