BN Verdict: Wardley and Clarke were so well matched they couldn’t be separated

By Elliot Worsell

Despite the common perception that a draw is a letdown after a hard-fought bout, the result of the Fabio Wardley vs. Frazer Clarke fight should be seen as a testament to the competitive and captivating nature of their heavyweight clash at London’s O2 Arena on March 31.

Both Wardley’s British and Commonwealth titles were at stake, and the two competitors, who were previously rivals, left everything in the ring tonight: trading blows, shedding blood, and experiencing shifts in momentum. It was fitting that after sharing so much over 36 minutes, they stood with referee Steve Gray, both disappointed, regretful, and relieved. While neither fighter may be content with the outcome—a draw with scores of 114-113 Wardley, 115-112 Clarke, 113-113—it’s better than the feeling of coming away empty-handed after a draining battle.

The draw keeps both men undefeated and provides motivation for a potential future rematch. This outcome is ideal for a fight of this caliber, deserving of a second viewing. A rematch between Clarke and Wardley, having both gone the distance for the first time in their careers, would be even more intriguing.

The battle between them was more than just a physical one; it was a mental challenge as they tried to impose their styles on each other. Clarke sought a methodical amateur pace, utilizing his jab, while Wardley aimed for a gritty fight more reminiscent of white-collar boxing.

The contrast in their approaches led to captivating exchanges throughout the fight, with neither fighter clearly establishing dominance. Clarke initially appeared to have the upper hand with his experience and effective jab, but Wardley’s aggressive style posed a threat. Wardley’s wild right in round two shook Clarke and set the tone for the remainder of the fight.

Although Wardley’s cut on his nose was a concern, he persevered, using it as motivation to push forward. In round five, he put Clarke down with a well-timed right hand, creating a pivotal moment in the fight.

Wardley aims a right at Clark (Lawrence Lustig/Boxxer)

Clarke displayed composure after being knocked down, regaining control in subsequent rounds. Wardley continued to push forward despite fatigue, but Clarke’s consistent uppercut landed effectively. The point deduction against Clarke in round seven shifted the momentum in Wardley’s favor.

As the fight progressed, both fighters showed signs of fatigue and weariness. Clarke’s dominance with the right uppercut was evident, while Wardley struggled with his worsening nose injury. The fight reached a critical moment when the ringside doctor inspected Wardley’s cut in round 10.

The back-and-forth battle continued until the final round, with both fighters exerting themselves. Despite feeling they had given their all, neither boxer could secure a definitive victory. The draw highlighted the competitive nature of the bout and set the stage for a potential rematch.

Wardley and Clarke’s performance showcased the potential for future success beyond domestic level. Combining Clarke’s technical skills with Wardley’s power could create a formidable fighter capable of achieving world honors. The fight at the O2 Arena exceeded expectations and left fans eagerly anticipating a future rematch.

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