Olympic medallist Frazer Clarke is preparing to storm up the professional ranks and insists there is not a better heavyweight prospect in the country.
Clarke had his first and so far only pro fight in February, a straightforward one-round win over Jake Darnell. Since then he’s been recovering from a hand injury but is determined to relaunch himself on the heavyweight scene.
“Momentum, it’s massive in a fighter’s career,” said Clarke, speaking to Sky Sports. “The stop-start wasn’t a good start to things but I’ll be fit and ready to go.”
He suffered a Bennett fracture in his thumb, but during his rehab has been working on taking his strength and conditioning to another level, while training with his good hand. “Perfect your jab, your footwork,” he said. “You have to find solutions. I’ve been doing everything in reason that you could do with one hand.”
Clarke, a decorated amateur and bronze medallist at the Tokyo Olympic Games, is adamant he is the coming force in the division.
He believes his potential and his skillset are underrated. “I do see a lot of people, like, getting on me for what I can and can’t do. I don’t want to compare myself to anyone but when I see what others are doing, there’s nothing I can’t do better than anyone,” he said.
“When it comes to a boxing brain, I beat everyone by a country mile, most heavyweights up to nearly world level. I’m an absolute mad student of this game, amateur and pro. When it comes to using your brain, I’m leaps and bounds above the rest.”
He does not see a better heavyweight prospect than him in the country. “There is no one. And I know this. I think people look at the age, 30, and think he’s not a prospect, he’s old. I’m far from it. I’m fit, I’m strong, I’ve still got all my senses about me. I’m actually improving. I might have been a slow burner, at 25 years old, I wasn’t physically mature, I wasn’t mentally mature, it took me a little bit longer,” Clarke said.
“I know I’m the best prospect in the country. In a year’s time I will no longer be a prospect, hopefully have some good wins under my belt and be pushing on.
“I’m going to hit them clean, I’m going to hit them where it hurts and I can put my punches together as well,” he warns. “In due time people will get to see it. I hope people enjoy it.”
He is eager to display his capabilities and working to be ready for potential fight dates on July 30 or September 3.
“I’m very keen. I think to be honest I’m not sure how seriously people take me. I think people think I’m a bit of gimmick,” said the former GB Boxing captain.
“I’m not saying I’m the next coming of Muhammad Ali but I know I’m a good fighter and if I look at what’s about now, I know I fit into that category very, very easily… It about going out there and doing it and proving it under the lights.”
Clarke has boxed top-level heavyweights. He even had an amateur run in with Joseph Parker, who would go on to become a professional world champion.
They boxed 12 years ago at a tournament in India and Parker took the decision. “Frazer, you can try get a win over me maybe in the future, we’ll see,” the New Zealander told Sky Sports News.
“He’s done very well as an amateur, Olympic medallist and he’s coming on to the pro scene and he’s giving it everything he has and he’s trying to make some noise,” Parker continued. “He’s been around for a long time, he’s been sparring the best in the world for a long time, so I think down the line, it could be a fight that we could make. But he’s still building his career, he’s still building his wins, he needs to get more wins and have more fights.”
“I was just a kid,” Frazer noted. “I was just over the moon to be out of the country. I think it was probably only the second time I ever went on a plane.
“It was the first time I’d ever been away for three weeks, it was the first time I ever left my parents for that long.
“At that point there, he was no one, I was no one, he’s gone on to be a world champion and do great things. So it was good to share the ring all those years ago.”
But Clarke, naturally, wants his revenge. “I’m under no illusions I’ve got a long way to go,” he said.
“But I’m an ambitious man. You look at Joe’s style, you look at my style, it would be entertaining, it would be a great fight down the line. He’s got that win over me. Anyone that’s got a win over me and I haven’t got the win back, it’s just in me, it’s just the person I am, it’s nature – you just want to get that win back.”