FridayFocus: Interview with Darren Barker

In this week’s FridayFocus we spoke to Darren Barker, a former world champion boxer who held the IBF Middleweight title in 2013!

  1. Who are you, and where do you come from?

My name is Dazzling Darren Barker and I’m from a lovely town in north London called Barnet!

2. Who’s your fitness inspiration?

Sounds cheesy but it was be my dad! He was a national amateur boxing champion so growing up knowing that my dad was a champ I was keen to follow in his footsteps and make him proud!

3. What’s your favourite way to stay fit?

I love cycling! I struggled a lot with injuries through my career especially with my hips so running was a no go, but cycling is kind to my body so I enjoy getting out on the road!

4. When did you decide to start boxing and why?

Again it was because of my dad! My earliest memories are sparring with him in our kitchen back home!

5. What will we find you doing when you’re not boxing?

Obviously I’m retired now but still well involved in the sport what with me opening my new boxing gym called 12×3! It is a place where all can come and be trained by one of our coaches who have been there and done that! All have competed at a high levels so the coaching standard is excellent!

6. What was favourite part of being a professional boxer?

Winning. I love winning! I’m naturally competitive so the sport was ideal for me!

I also like the travelling side of it, representing my country as an amateur I got to see the world.

7. What was the high-point of your career?

Winning the world title at my second attempt in Atlantic city was a special moment!

8. How did it feel to win the IBF Middleweight title?

Job done! My whole life’s work completed and to be cemented in the history books makes me proud.

9. Do you have any goals for this year?

To open my second gym in Paddington which should be completed by the winter.

10. Best piece of fitness advice?

Enjoy what you’re doing. Getting fit doesn’t have to be a chore or boring! Set goals and don’t be afraid of weighing scales… they’re your friend not your enemy!

12. What would you be doing if you hadn’t become a boxer?

I would like to say playing and captaining Chelsea FC but I’m useless at football!

13. Have you always been into your health and fitness?

Not really but whilst boxing there wasn’t many fitter then me so once I’m into something I give it my all!

You can check out Darren’s gym here.