Starie fit and ready for Barjero
BOXING: David Starie, Suffolk's Commonwealth and British super-middle-weight boxing champion, is training hard in South Africa in preparation for next Saturday's Carnival City fight against Australian Marc Barjero.
By Dave Allard
DAVID Starie, Suffolk's Commonwealth and British super-middle-weight boxing champion, is training hard in South Africa in preparation for next Saturday's Carnival City fight against Australian Marc Barjero.
The contest, with the Commonwealth crown at stake, will be screened by the BBC and watched by a 7,000 crowd in the massive indoor arena.
The 27-year-old Starie, who lives at Elmswell, will be up against the four times Australian champion who lost the national crown to Anthony Mundine a year ago.
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With former Needham Market amateur Starie in South Africa is his Norfolk-based manager Gordon Holmes. He said: "David is in great shape both physically and mentally. He is 27 now and has fought for a world title at 25 when he took on Joe Calzaghe for the WBO crown.
"He fought the best super-middleweight in the world and treated it as a training fight. He could have won it and he could beat Calzaghe tomorrow if he got the chance.
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"He has come back from that points defeat three times the fighter."
The Starie aim after what will hopefully be a successful Commonwealth crown defence against Barjero is to win one of the more prestigious world crowns, the WBC, WBA, WBO or IBF.
Of Barjero, Holmes said: "We are taking it very, very seriously as he will be no push-over. He is a former world top ten fighter, even if he is not there now. Victory over him would see David climb the ratings even more."
Starie's best hope of a world title shot in the near future looks to be for the WBO crown, against the winner of the Markus Beyer-Eric Lucas contest.
Barjero, who would cause a major upset if he were to beat Starie to take the Commonwealth crown, said of the fight: "David Starie is a tremendous boxer as his great record shows, but I think I'm capable of pulling off a surprise.
"If it goes the 12-round distance then he will probably win it, as he is the better stylist. My best hope is to hurt him with a good punch and move in to force a stoppage.
"I think I can do that. I've trained harder than I've ever done in my life. My trainer says I'm in the best shape I've ever been. There has been tremendous support from all over Australia for me ahead of this contest.
"It will be shown live on Australian television and I'm determined to get the result that will make all my fans happy. My trainer and I have studied videos of David Starie's fights. He is a clever boxer with a great engine, but Dean Francis took the British title off him at one stage and Joe Calzaghe beat him.
"Perhaps I can put another dent in an otherwise impeccable record and the confidence is building in me with every training session."