Frazer Clarke "still not over" Fabio Wardley purse bid calamity

British heavyweight contender and former Tokyo Olympian Frazer Clarke has finally looked back at his British title purse-bid calamity with Fabio Wardley, which ultimately saw the unbeaten Clarke removed from the bidding process against his will.

The BBBofC had ordered the current Lord Lonsdale belt holder Wardley to defend his title against the former Olympic silver medal winner Clarke with purse bids to take place for a fight on May 10th. In an epic turn of events, Clarke was removed from the process by his promoter Boxxer, and broadcaster Sky Sports also influenced Boxxer’s decision to remove Clarke.

Eddie Hearn, who promotes Wardley, did not hide his frustration over the pull-out and openly criticised Boxxer for their decision to withdraw Clarke.

Clarke (6-0, 5KOs) faces former world title challenger Mariusz Wach at York Hall in London today, and spoke about the fallout and how joy turned to disappointment.

“I was over the moon at the news that I was the mandatory to fight Fabio Wardley but then as that situation got about ten days in I had to make some difficult phone calls. I was led to the illusion that my promoter (BOXXER) and broadcaster (Sky) weren’t happy with the fight going to purse bids,” Clarke explained to The Daily Mail.

“They felt that I wasn’t experienced enough to take the fight at this stage in my career because I haven’t done the rounds yet and so they strongly advised me to pull out of the fight which I never wanted to do.

“But in the end, the decision was made for me and they went ahead and did that. It was something I was really gutted about and something that is probably going to live with me for a while, I’m probably still not over it. But we have got Wach now and I just want to move on and focus on that.”

Clarke is still hopeful that the title challenge against Wardley can proceed before the end of the year and revealed that there are tentative talks behind the scenes with Wardley’s handlers.

‘Yeah, behind the scenes there are some talks between [Boxxer CEO] Ben [Shalom] and Fabio’s team but I’ve learned from the situation a few weeks ago,’ Clarke continued.

‘I’ve got to concentrate on my next fight and worry about that after because you don’t want to get too ahead of yourself in boxing as I’ve learned the hard way.’