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Frazer Clarke calls for Fabio Wardley fight: 'Come on, come fight me. Let's do it!'

With a first 10-rounder completed, Frazer Clarke calls for fight with British heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley; Clarke shut out Mariusz Wach at York Hall on Friday, gaining experience of going the longer distance to prepare himself for Wardley title fight

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Frazer Clarke made it very clear he still wants to face Fabio Wardley and promoter Ben Shalom says his next fight will be in September.

Frazer Clarke has urged Fabio Wardley, the British heavyweight champion, to fight him.

After only six professional fights Clarke had been mandated to get a shot at Wardley. But under advice from his team, Clarke withdrew from the purse bids for the British title fight to gain more professional experience first.

With five stoppage victories and one six-rounder, he needed rounds. Wach gave him that when they boxed on Friday night at York Hall in London.

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Frazer Clarke ticked a lot of boxes after taming the huge Mariusz Wach over ten sweltering rounds at the York Hall.

In his first 10-rounder Clarke went the distance against the veteran Polish heavyweight. The Olympic bronze medallist started well, picking out canny combinations as he outworked Wach. But the old hand dragged Clarke into clinches and leant down on him with his 290lb bulk.

Clarke's pace slowed for a round or two in the latter half of the fight. It did become scrappy and Wach doled out a few solid clumps of his own. But Clarke made sure to finish well and he landed strong right crosses and a tidy left hook in the final stages to close out the contest.

Ultimately he got the work he needed and won every round while doing so, shutting Wach out 100-90.

He broadcast a message to Wardley.

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"Come on, come fight me, let's do it!" Clarke declared. "I think it's one of those fights where there's a lot of demand. People will be saying he can flatten me now, even more than they have been. There's only one way to prove it and that's for us both to compete."

Clarke had come under heavy criticism, from Wardley in particular, for electing to take this step-up before leaping straight into a championship contest. Although Wach is known for his toughness - few opponents have stopped him and none in the first half of a bout - Clarke is bracing himself for more scrutiny.

Image: Clarke did land power-punches on tough Wach

"I'll be public enemy number one again," he said. "But I'm a good man, I live right, I do right by God, right by my family. Judge me on that.

"It's been a media storm over the last few weeks but I'm going to pat myself on the back for getting in there tonight and dealing with it because I know a lot of people that would have crumbled."

But as much as he wanted, and still wants, to fight Wardley, he believes the decision to wait, gain experience and get those rounds in first has been vindicated.

Thanking his management and promotional team, he said: "I'm not saying I would have lost [to Wardley] but I can definitely be better. I take that one.

"I was an eager beaver. People can say [you're an] Olympian and what not but them 10 rounds, 12 rounds, they're a lot different. So I'll go back and work on myself. Sometimes it's good to listen to knowledge.

"If the opportunity comes [to fight Wardley], people will tell you I'm a fighting man and I won't say no but I'll definitely go back to the gym and work on doing these longer rounds."

His promoter Ben Shalom is looking to make that British heavyweight title fight with Wardley.

"There's an offer already with them. I think Fabio might have liked to catch Frazer early. I think maybe now he'll want the fight a little less now [Clarke]'s got those 10 rounds," Shalom said.

Image: Clarke's right cross tags Wach but he will find it hard at times to extricate himself clinches

As far as Shalom is concerned the Wach bout was "mission accomplished" for Clarke.

"You can't buy that experience. It doesn't matter what he's done in the amateurs, this is his seventh pro fight, it's not just the stamina, it's the concentration," the promoter said.

"He's been in there with someone experienced and done the rounds and has a lot to look back on and improve."

Clarke is likely to box next in September. "We want to get him active. A good fighter is an active fighter," Shalom said. "I thought he did really well and I'm delighted."

'That's what you've got to go through'

Johnny Nelson, the former WBO cruiserweight champion, said: "My coach Brendan Ingle said you can't buy, borrow or pretend to have experience. You've got to go through it and that's what you've got to go through.

"In hindsight, step off, let's not do that [Wardley fight] yet, let's get the rounds under our belt, that's what he's done. He's got to have that baptism of fire. Because around rounds seven and eight that's when most fighters get their second wind. That's when they get tired, they get tagged and they get lazy. He had to go through that and get used to that.

"So I'm glad he's a little humbled to say I've got the rounds in now. I've lost that battle, but I'll win that war when that fight comes. So I'm glad he's criticised himself, he got through the rounds, did the work. [Wach] is a tough, strong man."

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Johnny Nelson felt the full 10 rounds will benefit Frazer Clarke and if he had chased the knockout he could have been punished by Mariusz Wach.

George Groves, former WBA super-middleweight champion, said: "It's the experience in general of fights like this. The more guys like this who have fought at a high level, you're going to learn, you're going to learn what shots to throw at the right time.

"The longer a fight goes the more fatigued you are and the harder it is to hold your form and Frazer's done exceptionally well. But there were some mistakes he was making. He got caught with some 'free' shots, [i.e.] shots that you have no right to get hit with, you get hit with.

"You don't want to necessarily blow every opponent away in a couple of rounds. You want to get rounds but you want to get quality rounds. Maybe some rounds where they've had to make some changes, make some adjustments. Go back to the drawing board, listen to the corner in between the rounds and go right I need to make these adjustments in real time.

"On reflection he'll know that he's done well."

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