Frazer Clarke admits he was ‘angry and frustrated’ at team withdrawing from Fabio Wardley purse bids

Frazer Clarke admits he was ‘angry and frustrated’ at team withdrawing from Fabio Wardley purse bids

Frazer Clarke has admitted he was “frustrated and angry” at his team’s decision to withdraw from purse bids for the proposed British title showdown with Fabio Wardley.

The British Boxing Board of Control ordered Wardley to defend his heavyweight title against Clarke, unbeaten in his six professional bouts and a bronze medallist at the 2020 Olympics, with the fight set to take place this summer.

No deal could be agreed between the two camps so purse bids were called, with Wardley’s promoter Eddie Hearn making plans to stage the bout at Ipswich’s stadium Portman Road should he be successful.

However, Ben Shalom, promoter of Clarke, withdrew on the day the purse bids were scheduled for, since claiming that he does not feel his fighter is ready for a 12-fight round and would like the title bout to come later in the year instead.

Hearn slammed the decision, stating his belief that Shalom and Sky Sports were scared of the fight ending up on DAZN, the streaming platform his Matchroom shows are broadcast on.

Writing in his Metro column, Clarke revealed his frustration at the episode and insisted the fight with Wardley was one he wanted.

“It was deeply distressing, and I can’t lie, I was very upset at first,” Clarke said.

“Upset, frustrated and angry because I wanted that fight for the British title so badly. In the last week or so, emotions have run high. I am still disappointed it is not happening, but I have looked at it from all the different angles.

“Everything happens for a reason and I hope something good will come out of this situation. It will take something bigger than this to derail me.”

Clarke will instead return to action on June 16 against Mariusz Wach, the 43-year-old who challenged for Wladimir Klitschko’s world titles more than a decade ago and has since fallen to further defeats against Dillian Whyte and Hughie Fury.

Should Clarke move to 7-0 as expected, he will hope to turn his attention to bigger and better things, with the heavyweight believing he will still be in a “massive fight” in 2023.

“I’ve had lots of phone calls, lots of meetings, a lot of things explained to me and lots of things guaranteed to me for the future,” Clarke said.

“I’m not getting the fight I wanted but I am listening to the experienced heads around me and I know that this fight will happen at the right time and when it is at its biggest. After the meetings I’ve had I am very confident that I will have a massive fight before the end of this year.”