Darren Barker def. Daniel Geale by split decision, 113-114, 116-111, 114-113
Early on in the Daniel Geale vs. Darren Barker HBO Boxing After Dark main event tonight, both men looked good, but like men whose ultimate fate was to be canon fodder for Gennady Golovkin. Then, midway through the fight, that storyline changed.
In round 6, Geale dropped Barker with a textbook liver shot. As Barker writhed in pain on the ground, the fight seemed over. He made it back to his feet at the last moment, but still, it looked done as Barker desperately held on for his life. After close to a minute of holding, Barker started firing back. And for six more rounds, he never stopped, imposing his will on Daniel Geale and simply outworking him over the back half of the fight to take a close split decision win.
That kind of comeback from a liver shot is virtually unheard of. Making the performance even more impressive is that Geale is the fighter known for his stamina, Geale is the fighter who normally has the higher punch output. Yet here, it was Barker who outworked and outboxed his way to a win.
Tonight, it was sheer willpower that took this fight, as Barker refused to go down to the liver shot, refused to give an inch, and was rewarded with a huge win. Simply an amazing, gutsy performance for the ages from Barker.
Also on the card, Kiko Martinez stopped Jhonathan Romero in round 6 in a fantastic fight. And in a tape delayed fight from earlier in the day, Sergey Kovalev scored a round 4 KO over Nathan Cleverely, announcing himself as a major player in the international scene.