Suffolk star Wardley vows to stop Webb in English heavyweight title battle

Suffolk's Fabio Wardley is all smiles after stopping Simon Vallily in the third to win the English heavyweight title...

Suffolk's Fabio Wardley defends his English heavyweight title against Nick Webb at Matchroom Fight Camp this weekend - Credit: Mark Robinson

Suffolk's English heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley has laughed off Nick Webb's promise to 'humble' him when they clash this weekend - and vowed he'll triumph inside six rounds.

Wardley (11-0, 10 KO), defends his English title for the first time against Webb (17-2, 13 KO) in the co-main event of Matchroom Boxing's Fight Camp on Saturday night, live on DAZN.

The 26-year-old Suffolk stylist has stopped ten opponents in a row, despite stepping up in class, and wiped out former two-time world title challenger Eric Molina in five rounds last time out.

But the more-experienced Webb, who's won four in a row, and stopped unbeaten prospect Eric Pfeifer in March, has promised he'll 'humble' Wardley when they come face-to-face in Eddie Hearn's back garden this weekend.

"He can give it a go," former Chantry High School pupil Wardley laughed. "11 have tried and 11 have come up short.

"It's not a problem. I'm glad he's coming into the fight with some confidence. He's excited and raring to go. It means it'll be a good fight and I'm getting a good version of Nick Webb so when I do win and get my hand raised there's no excuses.

"I'm more than happy with all of that (what Webb's saying)."

Nick Webb

Nick Webb (17-2. 13KO) has vowed to 'humble' Fabio Wardley when he challenges him for the English heavyweight title this weekend

Of Webb as an opponent, he added: "He's ok. He's a good opponent for me at this stage of my career. I'm still up and coming, still got things to do, a few more names to scratch off the list and a few more different tests to go through.

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"Nick is a different kind of opponent. He's a come-forward fighter, he'll want to get stuck in, he's a bigger guy and he'll want to try to impose his size on the fight as well.

"They're different problems for me to try to manoeuvre around, but overall I think it's still going to be the same result for me."

The same result would, of course, mean a knockout. So will it be 11 in a row for Wardley this weekend?

"Definitely 11, definitely," comes the reply. "The fight won't go past six rounds."

Fabio Wardley v Eric Molina, Heavyweight Contest.
27 March 2021

Fabio Wardley screams after knocking out two-time world title challenger Eric Molina - Credit: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

Given Wardley's status as one of the hottest heavyweight prospects in the country, it's easy to forget this is a man who has still only had 15 total fights - 11 professional and four white collar bouts.

And that background makes his win over Molina - a man who'd fought both Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder for world titles - even more impressive.

It wasn't without drama though, as Molina caught him with a big right hand in the fifth round of their fight, wobbling Wardley for the first time in his career. 

Fabio Wardley v Eric Molina, Heavyweight Contest.
27 March 2021

Fabio Wardley lands a big right hand on Eric Molina - Credit: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

But, as Molina rushed Wardley back to the ropes, the stone-fisted Suffolk man bit down on his gumshield and separated his foe from his senses with a huge left hand.

Wardley had spoken often about wanting to be pushed into deep waters as the standard of his opponents went up, so just how deep were the waters he found himself in against the experienced American?

"I had to do a couple of lengths," he laughed. "I had to do a bit of swimming. But that's what we wanted. I want to get those types of tests done and dusted and out the way, get those boxes ticked early on in my career as oppose to getting there later down the line and running into troubles and facing things that I haven't gone through before.

"So that's one that I've ticked off. I wanted to go a few more rounds,  I got a few more rounds under my belt, got hit with a hard shot and came back and still won the fight.

"It's all good things. You need those type of challenges to help you develop as a fighter."

Assuming he gets past Webb on Saturday, it looks likely that Wardley's next goal will be the British title next year, and a fight against good friend Nathan Gorman (18-1, 12 KO).

Fabio Wardley v Eric Molina, Heavyweight Contest.
27 March 2021

Fabio Wardley warming up with his head coach Rob Hodgins - Credit: Dave Thompson Matchroom Boxing

"It's definitely something that's still in the plans," he said. "I'm defending my English title now, but once I've got that first defence out of the way I think that's me done with the English title.

"The only next one to go for really is the British, Commonwealth or maybe European. Those three are all in the same realm, and all of those I could meet Nathan Gorman for.

"A good British dust-up, with Nathan Gorman, for the British title, would obviously be a great fight so it's something that I'd definitely be interested in." 

Something else Wardley will be interested in before he fights on Saturday is the Ipswich Town score, as the Blues start their League One campaign at home to Morecambe.

The former Town Academy player, who's made no secret of his dream to one day fight at Portman Road, and will wear his trademark blue and white gladiator shorts to the ring again on Saturday, now has a friend playing for the Blues in fellow ex-Chantry student Macauley Bonne.

Macauley Bonne during the pre-season friendly against Dartford

Fabio Wardley is good friends with felloe ex-Chantry pupil and new Ipswich Town striker Macauley Bonne - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

He explained: "Macauley's a friend of mine, a good friend of mine.

"We grew up not 50 yards from each other and went to the same school. I'm a year or two older than him, but we've always been around each other.

"It's great to see someone from near on the same street as me doing so well, he's obviously at a club he loves and doing something great for the town."

- You can watch Wardley v Webb live via the DAZN app on Saturday night.

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