Fabio Wardley vs Frazer Clarke Has Engaged Boxing Fans And The Fight Hasn’t Even Gone To Purse Bids Yet!
On Wednesday, April 12 the BBBofC officially ordered the British Heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley (16-0, 15 KOs) to face mandatory challenger, Frazer Clarke (6-0, 5 KOs).
The pair have until May 10 to agree on a deal or purse bids would take place on that day. The contest must take place by the end of September.
The BBBofC’s decision to order Wardley to face Clarke, who has had just six professional fights against mostly insignificant opposition, was met with a great deal of criticism – like a lot of their other moves in recent months.
Everybody from boxing fans to Wardley’s promoter Eddie Hearn and even Clarke’s own promoter in Ben Shalom questioned the decision to make the 2020 Olympic Bronze medalist the mandatory challenger over the reigning English champion Solomon Dacres and the WBO European Titleist David Adeleye.
Clarke and Dacres have both had only six fights but Clarke has only been scheduled for more than six rounds on one occasion. Adeleye has had eleven professional contests, almost double the other two, and won a trinket belt.
Wardley and Clarke are with different promoters with the former being represented by Hearn/Matchroom although he is officially a ‘free agent’ whilst the latter is signed to Shalom’s BOXXER.
Under a week after the fight was ordered, BOXXER announced that Clarke would fight on June 10 in Wembley – an announcement that would surprise fans and anger Hearn.
Eddie Hearn Pressures Frazer Clarke Into Withdrawing From Warm-Up Fight
Hearn did an interview with Boxing Social where he publicly pressured Clarke into withdrawing from his June 10 bout and threatened to schedule another fight with Wardley if he didn’t. The reasoning behind this was that Hearn didn’t want to win the bids and pay for the costs of staging the event only for Clarke to box four weeks later where he could get injured/cut etc.
Clarke was willing to forgo the tune-up and made a statement via his social media confirming that.
Ben Shalom Fires Back At Hearn’s Attempt To Take Control Of The Situation
Shalom stated in his own interview with Boxing Social that Clarke would not be moving off the June 10 date and that Matchroom hadn’t even won the purse bids yet, if BOXXER won it they could stage the fight in September and allow Clarke to have his tune-up.
Shalom also made dubious remarks which left himself wide open for a counter from Hearn with comments suggesting that the BOXXER head didn’t back his own fighter.
Hearn Criticises Shalom For Not Believing In Clarke
Hearn responded to the original video, claiming that Shalom didn’t believe that his own fighter could beat Wardley and that’s why they weren’t willing to take the fight.
He then followed it up with a Boxing Social interview the following day.
The Matchroom chief didn’t pull any punches, criticising Shalom’s faith in his fighter and whether the Clarke side would take the fight.
Shalom Plays ‘Free Agent’ Card
Hours later, Shalom conducted another interview in Poland confirming that Clarke/BOXXER did want to face Wardley and revealed that they had begun negotiations for that fight even before purse bids were ordered.
Shalom concluded by claiming that Wardley was a promotional free agent, not contracted to Matchroom and that they were in talks with Wardley’s team to stage the fight on a BOXXER/Sky show and would continue in their attempt to make a deal before purse bids on May 10.
This is a developing story, stay tuned to NoSmokeSport.com for further updates.