Heavyweight prospect Fabio Wardley to headline first pro boxing show in Ipswich for almost 20 years

Fabio Wardley, right, sparring with British heavyweight champion Sam Sexton. Picture: ARCHANT

Fabio Wardley, right, sparring with British heavyweight champion Sam Sexton. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Exciting Ipswich heavyweight prospect Fabio Wardley says it’s a ‘fantastic feeling’ to be the man bringing big-time boxing back to the town.

Unbeaten Wardley (3-0) will headline the first professional boxing show in Ipswich in almost 20 years at the Corn Exchange on Saturday, May 26.

The town hasn’t hosted a pro show since the halcyon days of former Suffolk world title challenger David Starie, so Wardley feels honoured to be the star attraction at the ‘Homecoming’ spectacular.

There will also be a number of other local boxers on the bill, including Southern Area light middleweight champion Billy Bird, serving soldier Connor Vian and debutant talent Ryan Copland.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Wardley said. “It was something that, when I first started boxing, I wanted to do – I didn’t think it would happen this quickly though!


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“It’s going to be a massive night, not just for the boxing but for the atmosphere as well. It’s going to be such an anticipated night that it will be electric.”

- MORE: First round win for impressive Wardley

Fabio Wardley will headline the first pro boxing show in Ipswich in almost 20 years. Picture: STEVE

Fabio Wardley will headline the first pro boxing show in Ipswich in almost 20 years. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Stephen Waller

The 23-year-old, who won his last fight by KO in a matter of seconds and has stopped two of his three opponents so far, is already being talked about as a future British champion despite an unusual path into the sport.

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Rather than a lengthy amateur career, the 6ft 5ins talent turned pro after just four white collar boxing bouts.

But he’s certainly making up for any gaps in his pugilistic education, regularly sparring with current British heavyweight champion Sam Sexton plus the likes of Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte.

“I hold my own with them, no doubt,” he said. “It’s been fantastic, everything I wanted it to be.

“I haven’t got a massive background in boxing so I wanted to find my feet and test myself, plus make sure this was something I wanted to do.

“It’s almost a bit surreal in a sense. When you spar when them it’s nice and amicable, and then you see someone like Dillian the other night knocking someone out cold on TV!”

Fabio Wardley, right, has been sparring top British pros Sam Sexton, Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyt

Fabio Wardley, right, has been sparring top British pros Sam Sexton, Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Of his ambitions, Wardley added: “I’m my own biggest critic, so I always believe a little bit less than what people are predicting for me.

“I have a lot of plans of what I want to do, but I definitely think the British title is a very viable option in the next few years.”

- MORE: Wardley tipped to be British champion

For now, Wardley will continue to work on his fistic future with head trainer Robert Hodgins at the Suffolk Punch club in Martlesham.

He has a very unusual style for a heavyweight – hands down, a lot of movement and quick feet. But he has no plans to change as he steps up the ladder.

“My style is edgy,” he laughed. “I’ve always carried my hands low and credit to my coaches for not trying to change it – rather, they’ve encouraged me to stick with it and perfect it.

“So far it’s worked out very well – the most important thing in boxing is to be confident and comfortable.”

An opponent for Wardley will be announced in due course, and he’s hoping to continue his steady rise up the paid ranks.

“I’d like to step up to a six rounder,” he said. “I’ve only had four rounders so far but I just want to keep making little steps forward – better opponents, longer fights, always keep improving.”

- Tickets will go on sale for the ‘Homecoming’ show in the next few days.

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