In his latest column, former Olympian and heavyweight contender Frazer Clarke speaks out on the Fabio Wardley fight, reacts to Joe Joyce’s shock defeat and looks ahead to one of the biggest fights of the year in Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia.
Joyce has major problems he needs to fix
It was a bad night for Joe Joyce against Zhilei Zhang last Saturday. We thought Joe would come through it, taking a few shots, but it was a big reminder he is definitely human, he bleeds. That lack of a defence cost him. But for me, he is still a very tough night’s work for anyone in the division.
This is probably the wake-up call he might need, the one that can make him a better fighter because he has gotten away with things for so long. We have always talked about Joyce’s defence and his chin and how he can take these shots, but that doesn’t last forever and now it has cost him his interim world title.
It is a massive problem that he needs to go away and sort out but I am sure he will come back a better fighter.
Sometimes in boxing you need these things to happen. Joe wasn’t down and out, it was an injury sustained from punches and I am sure he was desperate to carry on. But it was the right decision to stop the fight, he took a lot of shots.
He will be thinking he could have done things differently but massive credit to Zhang who I am sure will go on to do great things himself.
Take the Whyte fight over the rematch
Joe’s style is effective against a lot of people and I think it would be massively effective against Dillian Whyte, who was there on Saturday calling for that fight. I don’t think Dillian is anywhere near Zhang technically speaking, I don’t think he lands his best shot anywhere near as often as Zhang was able to land his best shot.
That would be a great fight for Joe, I definitely have him winning that if he comes in with the sort of intent that saw him put Joseph Parker away. That is what he should be looking at.
Sometimes some fights stylistically can produce a bit of a bogeyman opponent for fighters. The only benefit of the rematch is Joe gets his interim title back and there is no guarantee that title shot would be coming anytime soon. I would probably elect to go elsewhere.
Fabio Wardley fight for British title finally confirmed
Last week I got the call from a friend who told me the news that the British Boxing Board of Control had ordered my British title fight against Fabio Wardley and I have been smiling ear to ear ever since.
This is why I am in this sport, for the titles. The British belt holds a big place in my heart, it is hugely prestigious with all the greats holding it at one point in there careers. It has been so far so good for me and this is a huge step, fighting for the British title six fights into my professional career.
Me against Fabio will be the latest in a long line of proper domestic dust-ups. There have been some huge nights in recent years going back to Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte in 2015 and Joe Joyce vs Daniel Dubois three years ago. It already has that big fight feeling building.
As soon as I got the phone call, something in me switched. We will train accordingly of course, we won’t start camp straight away because we don’t know when the fight is going to be yet but my mentality has already switched. I will be doing everything to make sure that belt comes back home with me.
Since the news came down it’s been pretty much normal procedure. There have been a couple of conversations taking place with people getting their house in order so we can get on with the purse bids.
Boxing finally delivers a super-fight in Davis vs Garcia
It’s been a bit of a frustrating time in boxing as far as these super-fights go. Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk fell through and Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr is another one that we seem no closer to getting. But we finally have one of those this weekend in Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia.
It is one of those fights UK fans will be setting their alarm for or staying up all night for, even though they know they’ll be having a rough Sunday as a result. Superstars is the right word to describe these guys, it is what they have both become. They are hugely entertaining fighters who have skill and power in abundance and they have the personalities to go with it all.
I have changed my mind over who will win a lot. Right now, I’m leaning towards Tank, I’m such a fan of his style and his aggression. I don’t think the rivalry is too malicious, they are both putting plenty on the line but in the grand scheme of things, I don’t think anyone loses here.
There are so many great options around that division. The winner will of course go onto do great things but for the loser, I am pretty sure they will do exactly same.
Looking around that division, it is incredible. Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko are going at it for the belts next month but also Shakur Stevenson has moved up and positioned himself for a title shot. He for me is probably the best of the lot.
There is also a brilliant Olympian in Keyshawn Davis rising quickly, he is an incredible fighter. We have also got to give Maxi Hughes a shout out too.
It is maybe the hottest division in boxing right now and hopefully this can also deliver a lesson to the heavyweights when it comes to getting these fights done.
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