Darren Barker yet to make a decision about his future in boxing
By Richard Damerell. Last Updated: 13/01/14 3:03pm
Darren Barker: Suffered hip injury during defeat against Felix Sturm
Darren Barker fears he must undergo a hip operation, but will not be rushed into a decision about his future.
Barker's brief reign as IBF middleweight champion was brought to a heart breaking end as he suffered a serious hip injury in a second-round stoppage defeat to Felix Sturm in December.
The Barnet fighter has been dogged by injury problems in recent years and was left contemplating retirement after his latest setback in Germany.
Any faint hopes of a rematch with Sturm have been ended by the severity of Barker's injury, which is expected to require surgery, but the 31-year-old has not given serious thought to his future.
"Yeah it's not the greatest, it's uncomfortable. I've got another scan on it, but it looks like I'm going to have another op," Barker told skysports.com.
"The most important thing for me now is making sure I get this right.
"My main priority now is getting this hip back to normal again. It's a nightmare, it really is, regardless of boxing"
"My main priority now is getting this hip back to normal again. It's a nightmare, it really is, regardless of boxing."
When asked if he could return to the ring, Barker said: "I'm not sure, you know I've achieved my ultimate goal.
"I haven't really thought about it. Obviously my main priority is getting my hip sorted."
Reports suggest fellow British fighter Martin Murray could instead be offered a shot at Sturm, with both men keen to set the record straight after they battled to a draw in 2011.
Barker is full of respect for rivals such as Murray, Matthew Macklin and Andy Lee, and hopes the St Helens man can capture a world title.
"I wish Martin all the best, I really do," he said. "I'm a British boxing fan. I respect them all and I like them. I really hope they go on to win titles.
Asked whether Murray could defeat Sturm, Barker said: "I think so, definitely.
"It will probably be similar to the first fight. He's no mug Felix Sturm. I suppose he will try to do better than he did last time against Martin, but Martin's a good fighter, he's fresh and has got a big future ahead of him."