Sturm beats Barker by TKO in 2nd for IBF belt

Felix Sturm stopped defending champion Darren Barker in the

second round to take the Briton’s IBF middleweight title Saturday

night.

Former WBA champion Sturm twice knocked Barker to the canvas and

looked set to finish him off when the towel was thrown in. Referee

Mark Nelson called it off 2:09 into the round.

”I hit him well with my swings,” said Sturm, a German of

Bosnian descent. ”We worked on that in training. I also worked on

my hip rotation and was more stable than before.”

Barker, who pointed at his hip after going down the second time,

was limping and clearly in major discomfort. The Londoner

previously had two hip replacement operations. He was taken to a

hospital after the bout to assess the extent of his injury.

”It’s good that it was short. My wife didn’t have to suffer so

much,” said Sturm, who dedicated his win to her. ”She deserves

this belt more than I.”

He became the first German to win four world titles and improved

to 38-3-2 with his 17th knockout. Barker dropped to 26-2.

Sturm added that he was looking forward to a rematch in England

early next year, though it remains to be seen if there will be one,

depending on the extent of Barker’s hip injury.