Darren Barker is the headline act on Saturday Fight Night as he returns to action

Last Updated: 08/12/12 8:10pm

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Darren Barker makes his long-awaited return as he headlines Saturday Fight Night from London Olympia.

Barker, who last fought over a year ago when his brave title challenge against WBC middleweight king Sergio Martinez came to nothing, returns on a night of innovation in West London.

Barker will be joined by TOWIE's Chloe Sims as the reality TV star adds a touch of glamour to the proceedings being one of the ring card girls.

The Betfair-sponsored cards will provide live in-play odds for the first time, giving fans the chance to improve their betting experience.

Barker is a very short-priced favourite to take care of Kerry Hope, but will have to be on top of his game against the former European champion, who enjoyed a lively workout in Nottingham last month.

The Barnet skillster tipped the scales at just under 11st 9lb for his comeback with Hope a little lighter at 11st 7lb 8oz.


The feature clash is ably supported by two of Matchroom Promotions' most promising talents - John Ryder and Kal Yafai - both of whom will enjoy live exposure on Sky Sports.

Ryder puts his unbeaten record on the line against Eamonn O'Kane (8-0), a winner of Irish Prizefighter earlier this year, while Yafai will be looking to impress again as he takes on Spanish bantamweight champion Jorge Perez.

Also on the undercard, Erick Ochieng defends his English light-middleweight title against Max Maxwell while top amateurs Callum Smith and Martin J Ward are also in action again.

American Carson Jones, who was supposed to headline the show before opponent Lee Purdy withdrew with a virus, remains active with an eight-rounder against Irishman Dean Byrne.

Later in the evening the action switches to Herning, Denmark where Brian Magee defends his WBA super-middleweight title against local hero Mikkel Kessler.

A victory for the Dane is likely to seal a unification fight with Carl Froch next summer.

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Christmas Cracker

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Darren Barker: lands a right hand on Kerry Hope (Photographer credit: www.leighdawneyphotography.com)

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