Fabio Wardley vs Frazer Clarke full card results: British heavyweight title fight ends in blood-soaked draw

Bloodied and battered British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley retained his titles after a thrilling split decision draw against Frazer Clarke at London’s O2 Arena.

Wardley’s career-best stoppage of David Adelaye to win the belts in his previous fight had him coming in as the betting favourite against Clarke, the bronze medallist from the Tokyo Olympics who has underwhelmed during his early days in the paid ranks.

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The 32-year-old hadn’t read the script as he damaged Wardley’s nose and banked the early rounds working off a highly effective jab.

But Wardley, a heavy-handed product of the white-collar scene, battled his way back into the contest as he buzzed and dropped Clarke in round five. The challenger was again forced to regroup as he was docked a point for low blows in the seventh.

Wardley’s facial damage extended to a right eye almost swollen shut, although his remarkable force of will against an impressive but exhausted Clarke meant they could not be separated down the stretch. 

A 114-113 verdict for Wardley was set against 115-112 for Clarke and a 113-113 even card sets us up for a rematch that should be big business in the UK.

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Clarke’s amateur pedigree was to the fore as he got the better of the opening jab exchanges, his heavy left lead marking up Wardley’s nose. The champion managed to land an overhand right over Clarke’s jab towards the end of the first session and followed up to the body.

The right hand came out once again early in the second as Wardley sought to unload. Clarke was happy enough to exchange and a crisp uppercut forced his foe to take stock. Wardley’s damage on the bridge of his nose was now clearly visible.

In response, he loaded up on another winging right that Clarke felt before returning fire, with some wild swinging bringing the crowd to their feet. In the fourth, Clarke increasingly brought heavy rights to bear, leaving the champion disorganised — much as Clarke was when Wardley’s honey punch briefly stemmed the tide.

A pleasing combination with a hook off the uppercut got Wardley in the ascendency midway through round five and he walked Clarke onto a short, chopping right hand that stiffened the Olympian’s legs. Wardley, his own blood pouring from his nostrils, smelt the opportunity and stalked Clarke relentlessly to floor him before the bell.

Even as Wardley’s standing in the fight improved, his face got worse and he was wading forward through a mask of blood. Clarke’s attempts to turn the bout back in his favour backfired in round seven when he was docked a point for low blows.

Fatigue was becoming a visible factor for both men, although the eighth stanza flipped into a barnstormer as Clarke landed concussive rights and Wardley responded with an assault to the body.

“He’s trying to time the right hand only,” Angel Fernandez told Clarke in the corner at the end of a good round nine for his man. Wardley’s now swollen right eye and seemingly broken nose were serving to limit his options in attack and defence.

The ringside doctor had a look at the champion midway through round 10 and he opted to go for broke with a booming right hand to wobble Clarke, laying on further hurt with a meaty right to the midsection. 

Amid that crisis, Clarke diced with losing another point when he spat his gumshield for the second time in the fight. In the penultimate round, the challenger looked utterly spent and the bedraggled Wardley again laid it on thick to win the session.

The champ was edging a weary 12th before being clipped by a Clarke right hook. Another eye-catching uppercut came at a good time and the judges could not split two big men who left everything in the ring.

Fabio Wardley vs Frazer Clarke fight card

  • Fabio Wardley drew. Frazer Clarke (SD 12) to retain British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles
  • Chris Kong def. Florian Marku (UD 10); welterweights
  • Viddal Riley def. Mikael Lawal (UD 10) to retain the English Cruiserweight title
  • Alen Babic def. Steve Robinson (TKO 6/10); heavyweights
  • Callum Simpson def. Dulla Mbabe (KO 4/10); super middleweights
  • Ben Whittaker def. Leon Willings (PTS 8); light heavyweights

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