There was a time when the British heavyweight title meant a whole lot, when the man on the street knew who the reigning British heavyweight champion was. Back in the days of British heroes such as Henry Cooper, Brian London, Jack Bodell and others, the winning of the Lonsdale belt was a big deal. More recently, stars like Lennox Lewis, Tyson Fury and Joe Joyce have reigned as British heavyweight champion.
Right now, Fabio Wardley, unbeaten at 16-0(15) holds the British belt and, in a move that could bring back some of the memories from old-school British heavyweight title fights, Wardley has been ordered by the British Boxing Board to defend against Frazer Clarke, 6-0(5) by the end of September. Both fighters have put out messages on social media that shows how they both want this fight, no problem.
Wardley, who has held the British title since last November, when he stopped Nathan Gorman in style to win the vacant belt, put out the short message upon hearing of the BBB of C order:
“Let’s get it on.”
Clarke, who won Olympic bronze in Tokyo, responded:
“Yes sir, both wanted it and now it’s happening. Let’s settle this in the ring.”
This is a fascinating fight. And a risky fight for two young guns who are still learning and improving. Wardley, a former white-collar fighter, has made rapid progress since going pro six years ago, and he has impressed with his wins over Gorman, Nick Webb and, last time out, Michael Coffie (even if that fight was stopped prematurely). Wardley is 26 years of age, so he is a good deal younger than the 31 year old Clarke.
Clarke, understanding he doesn’t have time on his side, is eager to have his career move quickly and the Wardley fight would see “Big Fraze” take his first real test since going pro in February of last year. Credit to both guys for wanting this fight, for agreeing to it with no ifs ands or buts.
But who wins? Clarke has that fine amateur pedigree, while Wardley has had over twice as many pro fights as his upcoming rival. Both guys can bang and both men have skills. Again, it’s a fascinating fight. And maybe this one will indeed bring back those magical memories of when British legends like Cooper and others were thrilling the British public every year.
Wardley vs Clarke – going out on a limb, I’m going for Wardley to get the points win here. How about you guys?