Fabio Wardley: Frazer Clarke rematch ‘doesn’t have’ to be made despite draw in London

Fabio Wardley has suggested that he may not fight Frazer Clarke again after their epic draw in London on Sunday.

Wardley retained the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles by fighting Clarke to a split draw at the O2 Arena, with the scorecards reading 114-113, 112-115, 113-113.

Fans in the arena and watching at home immediately called for a rematch, but 29-year-old Wardley has played coy.

“It doesn’t have to be immediate, it doesn't have to be at all necessarily,” the Ipswich fighter told Sky Sports. “I still have my belts, I still move forward. Again, the ball’s still in my court. It’s still my decision.

“We’ll look at the options. It was a good fight, I don’t know if I can do too many of those in my career – take off too much, put my family and friends through too much panic.

“We’ll have a chat with the team, we’ll reassess. There are some things on my end I need to sort first, and then we’ll go again.”

If a rematch against Clarke, 32, does go ahead, Wardley would like it to take place at Portman Road – home to Ipswich Town FC.

“Portman Road is always on the cards,” said the champion. “It’s one the club want, it’s one I want. We did the O2, I think the next step from that is a stadium of some sort, so maybe if we do come all the way round to it and go again, that’s a very viable option.”

Wardley’s nose was badly injured during his draw with Clarke (Getty Images)
Wardley’s nose was badly injured during his draw with Clarke (Getty Images)

Wardley scored a knockdown of Clarke, who also had a point deducted for a low blow, though Clarke did severely damage the champion’s nose en route to the draw.

“I’m not going to start bashing the refs or bashing the judges, that’s not my style,” Wardley said. “It was what it was, it was judged however it was judged.

“Ultimately it was on me to do more in a fight to make it more convincing, evidently. Next time around, if we get [it] on, that’s what I’ll be doing. There’s positives and negatives to be taken from that; there’s parts of the performance I’m proud of, parts of the performance I’m not so proud of. But overall it was a good night of boxing – maybe not so much boxing, maybe fighting, but still.”

Wardley also credited Olympic medalist Clarke for his performance, saying: “I said a lot in the build-up about his heart and seeing whether it’s there and turning up on the night and how he reacts under the lights, and look: He did his bit, he reacted well.

“All credit to him, you need the right dance partner for massive nights like this, massive moments in my career, and credit and thanks to him for being that for me.”