IBF middleweight champion Darren Barker will make the first defence of his title against Felix Sturm in Stuttgart on 7 December.

Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed the fight will take place in Germany and that an option for an immediate rematch in London has been added should Barker be beaten.

Sturm is a mandatory challenger for Barker after the Englishman claimed the belt with a points victory over Daniel Geale in Atlantic City in August.

Hearn said on Twitter: "@DarrenBarker82 will defend his IBF World title in Stuttgart on December 7 against Felix Sturm.

"It's a two fight deal with a London fight scheduled for March 2014 at Darren's option.

"Neutral officials appointed by IBF and a great opportunity for Dazzler."

Sturm looks set to be a tricky opponent for Barker, who is keen to line up a future bout with Martin Murray.

The German held Murray to a draw and claimed a claimed a controversial points win over Matthew Macklin on home soil.

"We have been in discussions with Felix Sturm's team since the Daniel Geale fight, and with purse bids approaching they made their intentions quite clear," Hearn added on skysports.com.

"Felix is the fight we want both financially and from a legacy perspective and once we were able to introduce our necessary demands, which included a potential second fight in the UK and neutral officials, then this was an opportunity Darren could not turn down.

"Even though defeat would lead to an immediate rematch in London, we are all confident that Darren will defend his title in style on December 7 in Germany."