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‘I just want to fight again’ – heavyweight prospect Wardley on frustrating 2018, and sparring Usyk

07 November, 2018 - 16:06
Fabio Wardley is 4-0 as a professional heavyweight. Picture: SARA THOMAS

Fabio Wardley is 4-0 as a professional heavyweight. Picture: SARA THOMAS

Copyright Photos by Sara 2017

Suffolk heavyweight boxing prospect Fabio Wardley will be looking to make up for lost time next year, after a frustrating 2018 which has seen him struggle to find fights.

Ipswich heavyweight prospect Fabio Wardley with boxing superstar Oleksandr Usyk. He spent two weeks serving as a sparring partner for the undisputed cruiserweight champion ahead of his clash with Tony Bellew this weekend. Picture: FABIO WARDLEYIpswich heavyweight prospect Fabio Wardley with boxing superstar Oleksandr Usyk. He spent two weeks serving as a sparring partner for the undisputed cruiserweight champion ahead of his clash with Tony Bellew this weekend. Picture: FABIO WARDLEY

The 23-year-old is 4-0 as a professional, with three straight first round stoppages, but hasn’t fought since demolishing Ferenc Zsalek at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich back in May.

Since then the crowd-pleasing Ipswich puncher, now a full-time fighter, has seen two fights fall through – one on the day of the dust-up – and feels like he’s fallen behind fellow prospects schooled in the sweet science.

“I’m hoping to get out again before the end of this year,” he said. “I’m still young, so time is on my side, but it is frustrating.

MORE: Wardley gets third straight first round KO in Ipswich

“The comparison I use is Daniel DuBois, because we made our debuts on the same day. I’m 4-0 and he’s 9-0, so that puts things into perspective.

“All my goals have had to be pushed back – I wanted the area title by the end of the year, or early next, but that’s not going to be possible now.

Fabio Wardley is one of the brightest heavyweight talents in the country. Picture: STEVE WALLERFabio Wardley is one of the brightest heavyweight talents in the country. Picture: STEVE WALLER

“I just want to get out there and have a fight again and start to build up some ranking points. This time next year, I want my record to have doubled to 8-0 or 9-0, and have the Southern Area title by then, or at least lined up. Then from there get to 10-0 and start looking at more serious matters.”

What Wardley definitely hasn’t struggled with, however, is sparring. The ex-Chantry High pupil has mixed it with the aforementioned DuBois, ex-British champ Sam Sexton, top tier heavies Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte and the lineal heavyweight king Tyson Fury.

And he’s just returned from two weeks in the Ukraine, where he shared a ring with undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk ahead of his massive clash with Tony Bellew this Saturday.

MORE: ‘Massive disappointment’ - Wardley suffers very late fight drop-out

“It was fantastic,” said Wardley. “The sparring was really good, and there was no attitude about him at all. Him being a southpaw was a massive learning curve for me and on top of that he’s technically great as well – you have to think about where you’re moving and how.

“I move quite well too, but when I’d do things that usually confuse people, he’d move and be right there with me.

Ipswich heavyweight Fabio Wardley, right, sparring with former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Picture: FABIO WARDLEY FACEBOOKIpswich heavyweight Fabio Wardley, right, sparring with former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Picture: FABIO WARDLEY FACEBOOK

“It was a really good experience seeing someone like that training for a fight of this magnitude – he was doing 15 or 16 rounds at a time, which was mental.

“Before I sparred him, I was going for Usyk to beat Bellew on points, and probably even more so now, because I’ve seen it first hand.

“He doesn’t seem to run out of energy – his punch rate and work doesn’t drop.

“I don’t know how Tony can counteract that, unless he lands a big shot.”

Paul Lambert is confident Ipswich Town can quickly overturn their five point deficit if they continue the progress they have made in the early weeks of his reign.

Ipswich Town left-back Jonas Knudsen says he is ready to talk to other clubs in January.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert is clear on his January recruitment strategy following a meeting with owner Marcus Evans yesterday.

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history. Today features John Wark scoring twice in a draw with Swindon, while the Blues progressed in the League Cup.

Ipswich Town assistant manager Stuart Taylor believes the international break has offered the perfect chance for the Blues squad to bond further following the arrival of Paul Lambert.

Ipswich Town midfielder Andre Dozzell believes he is finally back up to speed following his year-long injury absence.

England Under 20s beat Germany 2-0 at Colchester this evening. ANDY WARREN was there to see how Trevoh Chalobah, Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes got on

Ipswich Town’s Under-23s beat their Crystal Palace counterparts 5-2 at Playford Road this afternoon. STUART WATSON gives his observations.

ANDY WARREN spoke to new Ipswich Town first-team coach Matt Gill about his time at Norwich and his start to life under Paul Lambert at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town trio Andre Dozzell, Flynn Downes and Trevoh Chalobah could have the chance to impress the club’s new management when England’s Under-20s take on Germany in Colchester tonight (7pm ko).

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