Fabio Wardley Insists ‘Question Marks' Are Hanging Over Frazer Clarke

British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley believes that he is more battle-tested than Frazer Clarke and that his extra seasoning could be the deciding factor when the unbeaten rivals finally meet at The O2 Arena on Sunday evening.

The 29 year old famously graduated from the white-collar circuit but he has passed a number of gut checks on his way up the ranks. Wardley weathered an early storm and stopped Nick Webb in a single-round shootout back in 2021, and rather than getting on his back foot and boxing after having his nose broken by Nathan Gorman, Wardley cut loose. He dropped Gorman twice and stopped him in the third round to win the British heavyweight title in November 2022.

“They’re factual situations,” Wardley told Clarke during Sky Sports’ The Gloves Are Off. “Every time I’ve been clocked I’ve come forward and I’ve put the opponent down. It’s confidence, yeah, because I’ve backed it up every time. You can stick it on me and I’ll stand right in front of you and go back at you and every time it’s happened the other person has ended up on their back and my hand has been raised.”

Clarke may not have absorbed much damage in the professional ring but he has walked a hard road to reach this point in his career.

The 32 year old has been campaigning at a high level for over a decade. Anthony Joshua beat Clarke to Great Britain’s super-heavyweight spot at the 2012 Olympics in London and then Joe Joyce battled his way through qualifying and represented Team GB at Rio in 2016.

While his former teammates capitalised on their gold medal success and signed lucrative professional deals, Clarke stayed amateur and went to the well on a regular basis in the brutal World Series of Boxing. He finally earned an Olympic berth at the delayed 2020 games in Tokyo and won silver.

Having faced so much disappointment and frustration outside of the ring, it is difficult to imagine Clarke crumbling the first time he faces any resistance in it but Wardley can rightly point to the fact that while he is tried and tested, Clarke is going to have to prove his resilience and desire with the country watching.

“It remains to be seen, that’s all,” Wardley told him. “In the pro ranks, it remains to be seen. With me you can pull up images. You can pull up videos whatever. You can prove it. It’s there to be seen. With you? Question mark.”