Frazer Clarke says Wardley vs Adeleye is the 'reason' he is in Riyadh

Frazer Clarke says Fabio Wardley and David Adeleye’s fight is ‘the reason I came’ to Riyadh – NOT Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou – but says boxers must ‘have self-awareness’ after their press conference brawl in London

  • Frazer Clarke expects the British heavyweight title bout to be ‘a hell of a fight’
  • He previously dismissed Fury and Ngannou’s main fight as a ‘load of rubbish’ 
  • LISTEN: Exclusive Tyson Fury interview on THE HOOK – our new boxing podcast

Frazer Clarke says Fabio Wardley and David Adeleye’s fight is the reason he is in Saudi Arabia – not the cross-over bout between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou. 

Wardley defends his British heavyweight title against bitter rival Adeleye as one of the undercard events in Riyadh tonight.

Clarke says the public and crowd are ‘in for a hell of a fight’ and finds the result difficult to predict. 

It comes after he labelled the fight between professional boxing debutant Ngannou and Fury ‘a load of rubbish’.

Clarke said: ‘It’s the reason I came [this fight]. The Fury vs Ngannou fight is interesting but it doesn’t get my juices flowing like this British title fight because that is something I want. 

‘As far as the fight goes, it’s a good fight between two good fighters. They are very competitive; I don’t think there is a clear favourite. I think it is going to come down to the occasion, who handles that best. 

Frazer Clarke said the fight title fight between Fabio Wardley and David Adeleye is the reason he is in Riyadh 

Wardley and Adeleye form one of the undercard fights to Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury

‘Also, there isn’t much experience between the two of them. They’ve both had more professional fights than me but when it comes to experience, there isn’t a lot. 

‘I am going with my original prediction of Fabio winning. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if David managed to pull it out of the bag.’

Despite his excitement, Clarke also urged boxers to have more ‘self-awareness’ and remember that they are setting examples for the next generation. 

Wardley was left with a nasty cut after a brawl with Adeleye in September at the Fury-Ngannou press conference in London. 

Adeleye shoved Wardley while he was conducting an interview, sparking a red carpet fracas and leaving the latter injured. Clarke believes that sort of thing ‘shouldn’t happen’. 

‘I think with the Misfits stuff, you know it’s coming and it’s very much handbags. With this kind of stuff, I have been there myself and I get it. There’s a lot of pride between fighters. David is proud and Fabio is very proud. 

But, it shouldn’t happen. We have a role to play. A lot of people look up to us. Young lads look up to us. Young girls look up to us. The way you conduct yourself is very important. You are passing a message on to the next generation. 

‘But, at the same time, instinct comes in. You have to remember where people come from. It’s quite common to have these altercations. As long as it doesn’t get daft and no one is getting seriously hurt, I’m not saying it’s acceptable, but it’s going to happen either way. Security can’t be there 24/7 to dive on people. 

Wardley was left with a nasty cut after being involved in a scuffle at the Fury vs Ngannou press conference

The British heavyweight was caught by one of the members of David Adeleye’s team

Their bout is on the undercard for the fight between Fury and Ngannou in Saudi Arabia 

‘There is certain situations where people have to use their brain because the fight could be thrown in jeopardy for one and the message it’s sending to millions of kids and other inspiring boxers. I don’t think it’s the way to carry on personally. You need to have a bit of self awareness of what is going on.’

Adeleye has previously criticised Wardley for being one-dimensional tactically, often coming forward and fighting on the front foot. 

That said, he also said that Wardley sets traps – something Clarke disagrees with and calls ‘ridiculous’. 

He said: ‘I think he is right in a sense, Fabio can’t just do that. You can have a shootout and I think he has fast hands, I think he is good a coming forwards and putting shots together but Adeleye talking about setting traps… that’s just ridiculous.

‘I’ve never seen his set a trap in his life. He caught that one fella with a good backhand, left hook and knocked him out but he’s no smarter than Fabio.

‘I think this fight is going to come down to who wants it more, who is willing to really put themselves in the line of fire. 

Adeleye criticised Wardley for only having one tactic but said his opponent likes to set traps

Clarke said their rivalry and similar ability levels make for a ‘great fight’ in which they will both ‘go for the knockout’ 

Wardley has won all 16 fights in his career, with 15 via knockout, while Adeleye has won all 12 of his fights, with 11 by kncokout.  

Their rivalry and similar ability levels make for a great occasion and Clarke expressed his enthusiasm for the bout. 

‘He said: ‘It makes for a great fight. When you have two people of a similar skill set that don’t like each other and probably don’t know how to handle their emotions in a boxing ring with someone they don’t like, that could either drive them on or make them makes mistakes. 

‘I think the public and the crowd there are in for a hell of a fight. They will both get hit and they will go for the knockout.’

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