British heavyweight Frazer Clarke, who won a bronze medal in Tokyo at the Olympics, is expected to box his pro debut soon. Working with BOXXER and Sky Sports, with whom the 30 year old has signed, Clarke will be fast-tracked, so said promoter Ben Shalom in speaking with Sky Sports.
Shalom likened Clarke – who suffered bad cuts over his eyes in his bronze medal winning fight in Tokyo – to Joe Joyce. Like Clarke, Joyce turned pro at a relatively advanced age and “The Juggernaut” was moved fast. Shalom said “calculated risks” will be taken in the pro career of Clarke.
“Joe Joyce is the easiest to compare. He is an obvious comparison,” Shalom said when speaking about Clarke. “Frazer will have to move as quickly as Joe, who is now 35 and is in world title contention. By the time Frazer is 35, we’d be very disappointed if he hasn’t already had a world title fight. He will have to move quickly in the next few years but also carefully. We will take calculated risks with him. But Frazer is a world-class operator. We think Frazer will deal with most heavyweights quite comfortably. We have no worries with him.”
Trained by Angel Hernandez, Clarke will begin with six-rounders, Shalom said. It will of course be interesting to see who Clarke will fight in his anticipated pro debut, and how many fights he manages to get in this year. Five years, or less, to a world title is not an ideal amount of time of course, yet throughout history other heavyweights have been moved this fast or ever faster.
Clarke is a big, athletic boxer with power and, Shalom says, “variety” to his game. The heavyweight division is always looking out for news stars. Maybe Frazer Clarke will go on to become the next big thing. The cuts Clarke suffered in Tokyo may be some cause for alarm – and the last thing this promising fighter needs is for them to reopen in a future fight. But that aside, there really is no reason to believe Clarke will not go places. And soon, as he will be moved fast.
Clarke is a likeable guy, that’s for sure, and Shalom believes his fighter can “appeal to the biggest possible sports audience.”