Frazer Clarke Will Face Mariusz Wach Next, Still Wants Fabio Wardley This Year

05/18/2023 - By James Slater - Comments

Unbeaten heavyweight prospect Frazer Clarke will next face experienced yet somewhat faded Polish veteran Mariusz Wach. The fight, which will be Clarke’s first ten round fight, will go ahead in London, at York Hall, on June 16th. Clarke, a bronze medal winner at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, was close to challenging Fabio Wardley for the British heavyweight title – or so we thought.

As fans know, Clark was surprisingly pulled from the fight by his promoter Ben Shalom, who declined to enter the scheduled purse bids of last week. Wardley’s promoter Eddie Hearn did not hold back in his criticism of Shalom, calling the situation “a shambles.” Certainly, Clarke was left looking less than great himself, even though it was his team who did what they did.

One of the reasons Shalom gave for pulling out of the fight was the fact that Clarke needs further pro fight experience, he needs rounds. This may be why Clarke has been matched with Wach. Wach, 36-9(19) has of course been in with everybody – from Wladimir Klitschko to Alexander Povetkin, from Dillian Whyte to Kevin Johnson – and the 43 year old has been stopped just four times.

If he still has any ambition and if he turns up for the fight in shape (BoxRec have Wach down as having a fight prior to the Clarke fight, this on June 3, against Jakub Sosinski, who is 8-2-1), Wach might stick around for a while and give Clarke, 6-0(5) some of the rounds he needs. But Clarke, who is already 31 years old, says he still wants the Wardley fight this year.

“I’m sure my promoter and Fabio can strike a deal and we can make that fight as big as possible,” Clarke said to BBC Sport. “It was upsetting for me at the time (Shalom withdrawing from purse bids for the Wardley fight) because I’m a fighter and I’ll always say I’m ready to fight. But after speaking to people whose job it is to guide my career, we came to a mutual understanding that we can still do the fight but at the right time for me.”

So, will a deal be reached this time, with no need for purse bids? It seems Clarke does want the Wardley fight, but that he agreed with those who advised him he needed more ring time first. The events of last week hurt Clarke some, and it was a big waste of a lot of peoples’ time when the purse bids fell apart.

Maybe, if he comes through unscathed against Wach, Clarke will indeed fight Wardley before the year is out. But might Wardley, 16-0(15) want to take another fight himself next instead?