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Ben Shalom on Fabio Wardley After Frazer Clarke Draw: ‘He Will Want to Run That Back Again’

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Promoter Ben Shalom is considering making a rematch between Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke following the fighters’ brutal, attritional and entertaining British and Commonwealth heavyweight title classic.

A bloodied and exhausted Wardley retained his titles courtesy of a split draw at London’s O2 Arena on Sunday, while Wardley demonstrated bravery and spirit of the highest order. Despite being hurt, Wardley was able to drop Clarke in the fifth round, for the first time in his career.

Clarke recovered and showed why he was held in high regard in amateur boxing circles, landing crisp shots on a fatiguing Wardley, who, despite appearing at times to be down and out, remained dangerous throughout the thrilling fight.

Shalom, who promotes Clarke, felt that the 2020 Olympic bronze medalist had done enough to claim victory and add the first major titles of his career despite having suffered a knockdown and a point deduction in the sixth for repeated low blows.

“I think the knockdown and the point deduction – which I did not agree with – has done enough to sway the judges’ minds towards a draw,” Shalom told IFLTV.

“I did not want a war because that is where I believed Fabio would be dangerous – but we got a war,” Shalom said. “Fabio was dangerous, but for me, Frazer did enough to win that fight. I thought Frazer was unlucky not to get that. But I am just proud to have been involved in that fight.”

Shalom believes a rematch between the heavyweight pair is a natural next step given the drama and entertainment value their first fight brought to fans.

“I believe it has to happen when you have one of the fights of the year, because I felt that was Frazer’s to lose,” Shalom said. “I felt he was controlling the fight and the rounds, but I hope they run it back because I do believe it has to happen again. When delivered entertainment such as that ends up as a draw, it is such a big story in such a big event. But knowing Fabio how I do, he will want to run that back again.”

Shalom concedes that any prospect of an immediate rematch will have to wait, however, due to the injuries Wardley sustained against Clarke. In the fight’s early rounds, a cut courtesy of a Clarke jab opened a cut on the bridge of Wardley’s nose, which bled freely for the remainder of the fight despite the best efforts of Wardley’s cutman, Adam Gigli.

“If they had both come out OK, we would have gone straight into a rematch,” Shalom said. “But Fabio will need a bit of time to heal.”

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