‘A massive disappointment’ - No fight for Ipswich heavyweight Fabio Wardley after late drop-out

Fabio Wardley - a disappointment for him on Saturday after his opponent pulled out of their fight Pi

Fabio Wardley - a disappointment for him on Saturday after his opponent pulled out of their fight Picture: SARA THOMAS - Credit: Sara Thomas

Fabio Wardley will learn from misfortune after finding himself a victim of his own success, writes Chris Lakey.

The unbeaten Ipswich heavyweight was gearing up for his fifth fight in the pro ranks only for his opponent at Norwich’s fight night on Saturday to pull out hours before the opening bell.

Promoter Mervyn Turner was left with no time to find a replacement so Wardley was left disappointed.

But Norwich trainer Graham Everett says it was just a minor hiccup in Wardley’s quest for the top.

“I feel for Fabio, but he is young, he will rise above all this and he will be better for it,” said Everett.

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“We had already lost an opponent in the week and Mervyn miraculously made a match on Friday night with a boxer – I won’t name him – from Manchester who fully agreed the deal.

“On Saturday morning he contacted his manager, turned around and said that he didn’t fancy the fight and switched his phone off – that is the long and the short of it.

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“So it was a massive disappointment for Fabio but yet again Mervyn did his utmost – he could not have done any more.

“Obviously we know that Fabio will come on again, but these situations don’t help us out.

“We are not an unlicensed event where we can just pull someone in; you have standards over the quality of fighters and someone like Fabio, an unbeaten heavyweight, is very hard to match at short notice at the best of times.”

The fight night coincided with a big bill at the 02 Arena where Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora – two fighters Wardley has sparred extensively with – produce winning performances against Joseph Parker and Carlos Takam respectively.

“Fabio mixes at a high level – Sam Sexton, Chisora and Whyte among them,” said Everett. “It’s a horrible thing to happen to him – he will probably have to have a week or two off now to recover for the mental blow, but he will come again.”

Clacton’s Joe Hurn was also ruled out after picking up an injury during training, while there was disappointment for Colchester-based paratrooper Connor Vian, who lost for the first time after eight consecutive wins, beaten 58:57 after a six-round scrap with Sheffield’s Ryan Hardy.

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