Felix Sturm and Darren Barker appeared to be in great condition as they made weight for the world title clash in Stuttgart on Saturday – a clash that is eagerly anticipated by price per head sportsbooks all over the world.
Pay per head services know that for the first time, Barker defends his IBF middleweight belt, and his large travelling support would give loud cheers as he tipped the scales at 11st 5lbs.
Sturm was 10 ounces under the 11st 6lbs limit and during the customary face-off, price per head sportsbooks saw that both fighters did not show emotion before Barker raised a fist to his fans.
The Barnet fighter wants to have a long reign as champion, and against Sturm he would like to start his spell with style.
“When preparation has been perfect you look forward to getting in there and that’s where I am right now – I just can’t wait to get in there and do my thing,” said Barker
“I’ve got a small and close team around me and that’s how I like it. I’ve had a good week here, it’s been enjoyable, we’ve been treated really well and the German fans have been great.
“I’ve got a lot of fans out here and they were brilliant in the weigh-in, there’s even more coming tomorrow and it’s going to be a great atmosphere.
“The confidence and belief from winning a world title is unreal – I’ve always believed I’m world class, but winning that world title I know that I am world class because I’ve proved it. I am as hungry as I’ve ever been, I’m proud to be a world champion and I want to have a long reign.
“Coming out to Germany to fight one of their great champions is a big statement.
I’ve won the title abroad and I’m defending it abroad – it’s a sign of my belief that I will beat him and move towards securing a legacy in this great division.”
Price per head sortsbooks learned that Joe Calzaghe, former undefeated world champion, flew to Germany for the fight, and on the stage he joined both fighters.
When he spoke earlier in the week, the former WBO champion backed Barker.
“It’s a tough fight for Darren, but I think he’s in the ascendancy,” Calzaghe told Ringside.
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“Sturm has been a great champion over the years. Obviously coming to fight in his own country, he’s up against it, but I really fancy Darren to win this fight.