Ipswich boxer Fabio Wardley too hot for his Bulgarian opponent as he wins easily

Fabio Wardley in action against Zheko Zhekov at Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Jerry Daws/Stillfocu

Fabio Wardley in action against Zheko Zhekov at Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Jerry Daws/Stillfocusedmedia - Credit: Jerry Daws / Stillfocusedmedia

Fabio Wardley is proving his decision to swap life behind a desk for a career in professional boxing was a wise one.

The 22-year-old from Ipswich took just two minutes and 46 seconds to see off opponent number two, Zheko Zhekov, in Norwich on Saturday night.

It was a display of raw power, although the former recruitment consultant is keen to prove he is much more than just a heavy hitter. At a little over 16 stone, Wardley isn’t a ‘big’ heavyweight – he was giving away two stone to the Bulgarian – but his movement is a major asset.

“Power is probably not my signature if you like,” he said. “That is probably speed and being comfortable and light on my toes and moving around. That is probably my bread and butter on which I pride myself and base myself.

“I am not a massive heavyweight who is here to slug it out with you; I will move around and pick you off at my own will.”


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Wardley certainly did that against Zhekov in front of a home crowd that contained a healthy and noisy contingent of travelling fans.

A right hand saw the Bulgarian down for a count, and less than half a minute later he went down in instalments in a corner, clearly not relishing 12 minutes of Wardley.

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Wardley said: “I hit him with a few and I saw it in his face – you can tell. Once you hit someone you look in their eyes... ‘No... I am not really here for this’. That is why I put it on, otherwise I would have taken my time, picked some more places.

“I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get the knockout in my first fight so this one was a lot more satisfying.”

At ringside was Norwich’s former Commonwealth heavyweight champion Sam Sexton who has helped Wardley through the tentative stages of his new career.

“I can credit a lot of how far I have come and how well I am doing to him and all the guidance and things he has given me,” added Wardley. “Even when I first started out and I had no clue about the pro game at all and I was kind of struggling through the three-minute rounds and getting used to things, but now I am comfortable and we have some really good competitive spars so I can credit a lot to Sam today.”

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