Anthony Joshua has praised his former Team GB partner, Frazer Clarke, for winning his first ten-round fight in the professional ranks.
Clarke took on Poland’s Mariusz Wach – a heavyweight veteran who has been in with Wladimir Klitschko but now looks far from his best – at London’s York Hall, winning every round on the judge’s scorecard to move to 7-0 in his campaign.
The fight took place in the shadow of a drama with British Heavyweight Champion, Fabio Wardley. Clarke was ordered as the mandatory for Wardley but was pulled out of the purse bid process at the last minute by his promotional team, BOXXER.
Ben Shalom said at the time that Clarke would fight for the belt on their terms, and that he wanted to see him get more rounds in – at that stage he had only been scheduled for eight – before a domestic title fight.
Wardley was furious at how things played out, and took his chance to claim that the other team were ducking him. It put Clarke – whom many feel was willing despite not having the backing of his team – in a somewhat awkward position.
It was branded a successful learning fight by him and his team, and Joshua – who started 258 Management of which Clarke is a part of – agreed.
“Mariusz Wach was a great opponent for Frazer Clarke. Being a heavyweight in modern times doesn’t leave room for error or time to build a fighter – some call it padding the record, I call it development.”
“I remember Iron Mike having fifteen fights in one year. Against who [though?] Exactly. Who remembers? It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Well done Mariusz and a massive well done to Frazer.”
Many are of the opinion that the two-time champion was thrown into the deep end quickly in his own career, having won his first world title in his sixteenth fight.
Post-fight, Clarke said he would be open to facing Wardley in the near future.