Suffolk heavyweight prospect Wardley on sparring Tyson Fury, his Wilder/Fury prediction, Dubois v Joyce and a possible fight with Dave Allen
- Credit: PA
Suffolk heavyweight boxer Fabio Wardley has the biggest fight of his life so far when he meets Simon Vallily for the English heavyweight title in April. MARK HEATH went to meet him.
Fabio Wardley is as engaging outside the ring as he is inside it.
The unbeaten Ipswich puncher (8-0, 7KO), faces a big step-up in class against the experienced Vallily (17-2-1, 7KO) in Newcastle on April 4.
It's the latest step in a promising career which has seen him spar with the likes of former world champions Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, plus the up-and-coming British banger Daniel DuBois, and recently be linked with a fight against the super-popular Doncaster heavyweight Dave Allen.
Here's what he had to say on a range of topics....
WARDLEY ON...HIS TITLE FIGHT
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"It's a great fight for me and my career. It's exactly what we needed at this stage of my career, that step up, that next level, that someone who's not going to come and just survive, they want to win and obviously he wants to go home with the belt, I want to go home with the belt and it's going to be a good toe-to-toe fight.
"I'm expecting him to be very well-schooled, very resilient and very sharp.
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"He's not a conventional heavyweight in terms of being large and heavy and clubbing, he's similar to myself - on the lighter side of heavyweights and more sharp than he is heavy.
"That's what we're going to be looking for - and we'll be looking to meet him with that, beat him to the punch and be sharp."
WARDLEY ON...SPARRING WITH TYSON FURY
"Being in the ring with Tyson is unlike being in the ring with anyone else.
"He's so big, but so agile, that it throws the rulebook of what he know about heavyweights and what you know about boxing out of the window really.
"He's doing things that he shouldn't really be able to do at that size, and that weight. When I sparred him he was on the heavier side, at the beginning of his comeback and still trimming off that extra weight.
"He's great to learn from, great to be around and as much of a character as you see him on TV as he is casually in the gym when there's no cameras around. He's the same person all the way through. That was a great experience."
WARDLEY ON... THE FURY/DEONTAY WILDER REMATCH THIS WEEKEND
"I think a lot of people will agree that he (Tyson) won the first fight.
"I think now with those extra few fights under his belt since then, and with that extra experience - he's got his training down and he's trimmed off them last few pounds and things, I think he's going to be on top form and come away with a win.
"Points definitely. I think everyone knows with Tyson that he's good with the talk and good to wind it up.
"All this talk that he's going to come in and knock (Wilder) out in the first few rounds is just mind games."
WARDLEY ON... THE JOE JOYCE/DANIEL DUBOIS BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT
"Them boys are very similar and they're a few steps ahead of me.
"They're big boys and their styles will go together quite well because they're both come forward fighters and they both get stuck in.
"I think for me, because I've sparred Daniel before and I know him a bit better, I think if I was going to edge any way - and don't get me wrong, it's a 50/50 fight, it's very close - I'd probably edge to Daniel."
"He's a bit of a cleaner fighter, his punches are a lot crisper and I think that will be the defining factor.
"I think he can get the stoppage. I think both of them can, don't get me wrong! If Joyce kicks on like he does in the later rounds - he's known for not stopping - and Daniel blows his load early and gasses himself out then Joyce could run away with the KO as well. Like I say, both men could."
WARDLEY ON.... A POSSIBLE FIGHT WITH DAVE ALLEN
"I know Dave, I've sparred with him a few times and we speak every now and then as well.
"I've spoken to him and stuff before and the back and forth that we had on Twitter wasn't anything disrespectful, it was just that we both got asked where did we want our years to end up and we both said British title.
"They said well if you meet how do you think that's going to go? He's a fighter and he's well within his rights to say he thinks he's going to win and the same for me, I think I'd win.
"So that's definitely a fight I'd like down the line. I like Dave, I haven't got an issue with him at all, it'd be a good fight. He's got a big fanbase and brings a lot of attention when he fights, so that would do me the world of good and it's definitely something I'd be interested in."