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Fabio Wardley Ready To Make Statement Versus Frazer Clarke

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FABIO WARDLEY POSES AT WEIGH-IN AHEAD OF MARCH 31 BRITISH TITLE FIGHT VERSUS FRAZER CLARKE AT THE O2 IN LONDON. PHOTO CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/BOXXER

An Olympic Bronze medal to cap a stellar amateur career. A lucrative contract to begin his pro career.

The well-credentialed Frazer Clarke would normally represent a huge step-up in class for someone with Fabio Wardley’s background. Yet, the guy with no traditional amateur experience enters as the proven commodity ahead of their domestic-level title fight.

“No question, I’ve been in the better fights, the more competitive fights as of late,” Wardley told The Ring. “I’ve been through the tougher situations in the pro ranks. The camps that I went through during that run, I feel like I’m prepared for this fight three times over.

“I’m sure he understands this is the biggest fight of his career. This is make or break for him. If he loses to me, where does he go?”

Wardley and Clarke meet in a battle of unbeaten U.K. heavyweights for Wardley’s British and Commonwealth titles. Sky Sports and Peacock+ will air the show this Sunday, beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET from London’s The O2.

Clarke (8-0, 6 knockouts) led a brilliant amateur career, capped with a Bronze medal during the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He has yet to turn it on as a pro, however, as all of fights have been made-to-order.

It comes in stark contrast to that of Wardley (17-0, 16 KOs). The only boxing experience gained by 6’5” Ipswich native came on the white-collar circuit and it was only four fights.

Wardley was otherwise forced to learn while he earns, though he’s done so masterfully to date.

The unbeaten 29-year-old has scored sixteen straight knockouts since he went the distance in his pro debut. His latest came when he stopped unbeaten countryman David Adeleye in the seventh-round last October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The bout came after the two engaged in a scuffle during the kickoff press conference to announce the show.

“Having stuff like that happen certainly helps motivate you,” noted Wardley. “A lot went on before the fight. It’s not usually my nature to entertain that type of behavior. All it did was make me train harder and more determined.

“Without sounding arrogant, I wasn’t surprised that fight turned out as easy as it was. We assessed him early, put together a great game plan that we stuck to the plan we put together.”

A year before that fight, Wardley stopped Nathan Gorman in the third round of their November 2022 British title fight. He followed with a fourth-round knockout of American heavyweight Michael Polite Coffie last April 1 at The O2.

Wardley was ordered to defend versus Clarke shortly after the win over Coffie. The mandatory title fight was scheduled for a May 10 purse bid but BOXXER withdrew Clarke hours before the session.

Clarke has since added stoppage wins over faded heavyweights Mariusz Wach and David Allen. His team then followed through once this fight was brought back to the table.

Wardley was always fine with the matchup and plans to demonstrate on Sunday. There was a time where he questioned Clarke’s motivation but sensed the fight would make its way to the schedule.

“I would have been surprised if went through all this fuss two times over with no fight,” noted Wardley. “One time, yeah. We understood why they didn’t take it then. They were backed into a corner when it came back around, though.

“He never would have lived it down if he didn’t go through with the fight this time.”

 

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for The Ring and vice president of the Boxing Writers Association of America
Follow @JakeNDaBox

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