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‘I’ll have to bite down on my gum shield and get stuck in’ - Wardley on next foe ahead of 2021 British title tilt

PUBLISHED: 11:29 13 November 2020 | UPDATED: 11:32 13 November 2020

Suffolk's Fabio Wardley will fight the heavy-handed Richard Lartey in the co-main event of the Matchroom Boxing show a week on Saturday at Wembley Arena - live on Sky Sports Picture: MATCHROOM BOXING

Suffolk's Fabio Wardley will fight the heavy-handed Richard Lartey in the co-main event of the Matchroom Boxing show a week on Saturday at Wembley Arena - live on Sky Sports Picture: MATCHROOM BOXING

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Suffolk’s fast-rising heavyweight star Fabio Wardley will face big-punching danger man Richard Lartey next week - with a potential British title tilt against Dave Allen lined up for 2021.

Suffolk's Fabio Wardley will face Richard Lartey on November 21 at the Wembley Arena Picture: MARK ROBINSONSuffolk's Fabio Wardley will face Richard Lartey on November 21 at the Wembley Arena Picture: MARK ROBINSON

Wardley (9-0, 8KO) had been due to tangle with former WBA world heavyweight champion Lucas Browne in the co-main event of the Matchroom Boxing show at Wembley Arena on November 21 but, after a lot of trash talk from the much more experienced Australian, he pulled out of the scrap.

MORE: ‘I’m a force to be reckoned with’ - Suffolk star Wardley lifts English title with spectacular stoppage

That left English champion Wardley, who’s won eight straight fights by stoppage, without an opponent - until Lartey (14-3, 11K0) stepped up.

Fabio Wardley is 9-0, with eight straight stoppage wins Picture: PA SPORTFabio Wardley is 9-0, with eight straight stoppage wins Picture: PA SPORT

It’s a dust-up which has thriller written all over it, and will be a real test of Wardley’s credentials - in his last two fights, Lartey’s been stopped by British super prospect Daniel DuBois in the fourth round of a tear-up, and lost a points decision to another top prospect, Nathan Gorman.

“Lartey’s a great opponent for me at this stage of my career,” said Wardley. “He’s a really strong and durable opponent that will definitely look to test me and take me into the later rounds.

“You’ve seen in his previous fights that he’s not shy of a tear up, so there may be moments in the fight when I’ll have to bite down on my gum shield and get stuck in, which I can’t wait for!”

MORE: ‘A great new contender on the British heavyweight scene’ - Promoter Hearn’s praise for new English champ Wardley

Wardley, 25, who lifted the English heavyweight title belt with an impressive third round stoppage of the far more experienced Simon Vallily in August, will expect to be the faster man in the ring, and the better boxer, but must be wary of Lartey’s heavy hands.

If former Chantry High School student Wardley – who was once on the books of Ipswich Town’s Academy – can make Lartey his ninth-straight stoppage victim, that would be a big statement.

Fabio Wardley in action against Mariano Ruben Diaz Strunz at the O2 Arena, London. Picture: PA SPORTFabio Wardley in action against Mariano Ruben Diaz Strunz at the O2 Arena, London. Picture: PA SPORT

And it would set up a 2021 British title tilt with the popular Dave Allen, who will also appear on the same bill next weekend.

Allen said: “I’m hoping to get rounds in the bank and for it to set me up for a big fight next year, hopefully for the British title against Fabio Wardley.”

Wardley, who’s sparred with the likes of Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, Dillian Whyte, Derek Chisora and the aforementioned DuBois in the past, has been working with the unbeaten Olympian Joe Joyce in the run-up to this clash.

Wardley had been due to fight former world champion Lucas Browne, but the Australian pulled out Picture: PA SPORTWardley had been due to fight former world champion Lucas Browne, but the Australian pulled out Picture: PA SPORT

The fight will be shown live on Sky Sports, with Conor Benn’s WBA Continental welterweight title clash against Sebastian Formella topping the bill.

TALE OF THE TAPE

Fabio Wardley

From: Ipswich, UK

Record: 9-0 (8KO)

Height: 6ft 5ins

Weight: 16 stone

Richard Lartey

From: Accra, Ghana

Record: 14-3 (11KO)

Height: 6ft 5ins

Weight: 17 stone 3lbs


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