Frazer Clarke could be on a collision course with British heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley.
Clarke, an Olympic super-heavyweight bronze medallist in 2021, chalked up his fifth professional victory on Saturday. He became the first man to stop Kevin Espindola when he beat the Argentine on the Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith undercard in Manchester.
Clarke will be looking to step up from six-round contests so he can get into title contention – and in his sights is Wardley’s British title.
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“That’s my aim, towards the end of the year. Me and Fabio know each other and it’s all light-hearted, but he’s a competitor and I’m a competitor,” Clarke told Sky Sports.
“We want to fight each other and test each other, and unfortunately there can be only one. He’s got something that I want, and hopefully I can put myself into a position to be able to compete for it.”
Wardley is unbeaten in 15 pro fights and most recently halted Nathan Gorman to win the Lonsdale belt.
But Clarke is a highly experienced amateur, an Olympian who also medalled at other major competitions. That could make a difference in a fight with Wardley.
“Time will tell. I know what I’m capable of, I know what I’ve seen, and what I’ve done. He’s a good fighter, there’s no denying it. He won the British title very well – I was there at ringside. If you ask him, he’ll beat me and if you ask me, I’ll beat him. It’s that simple,” Clarke said.
“It’s not a stepping stone because it would be a big fight, but it’s on my radar.”
Speaking on the Toe2Toe podcast, Wardley welcomed the challenge.
“There’s a lot of good fighters out there,” he said. “Big fights is the name of the game. It’s what I want to be in.
“Having that nice, shiny belt puts a nice shiny target on my back.
“I just want to be in the thick of those good fights, of those good tests and I can come out of the ring feeling I’ve really put myself on the line there and I’ve really gone through the fire and come out the other end.”
He didn’t rule out fighting Clarke later this year. “He obviously wants to kick on with this career and push forward. Like he said himself, he needs a few more fights. He needs to do a bit more. I think in the fights he’s had I don’t think he’s even been particularly happy with a few of his performances or even happy with the opponent,” Wardley said of Clarke.
“So I think he needs to have a few more tests, put himself against some higher calibre of opponent. I was fighting the likes of Eric Molina and people like that to test myself. Not gatekeepers but them old, wily foxes in the game. People who have been around for a long time.
“The calibre of his opponents of late hasn’t been the classiest,” Wardley added.
“He needs to kick on and get in someone’s ear and say I need to show what I can actually do and it’s hard to do that against negative opponents.
“You need someone who’s coming forward, who’s trying to put it on you a bit where you can show off them other aspects of your skillset.
“You need to make a statement.”