‘I’m so excited’ - Suffolk star Wardley to fight at O2 Arena
- Credit: Sara Thomas
A dream will come true for Ipswich heavyweight prospect Fabio Wardley when he fights at the O2 Arena on December 22.
Unbeaten Wardley signed with boxing star Dillian Whyte last week and his new manager, a world-class heavyweight, has moved quickly to make sure the Suffolk stylist is on the undercard of his Sky Sports PPV clash with Dereck Chisora next month.
It’s a rapid example of the doors which Whyte can open for Wardley, who’s 4-0 as a professional with three straight first round stoppages.
And the former Chantry High student can’t wait to make his debut on the biggest of stages, under the bright lights of the TV cameras and in front of a global audience.
“I’m so excited,” he said. “It still doesn’t feel like it’s real. I can’t wait – that first little moment will be amazing as I get to look around and realise that I’m there. I’ve always wanted to box on the bigger shows.”
Wardley will engage in a four rounder with an opponent yet to be decided, but says he feels no pressure for his debut under Whyte, on such a high-profile show.
“I don’t feel like it’s more pressure,” he said. “Although it’s a bigger stage and platform, it’s the same old game. There’s two men in there fighting, and I’ve got to get to him before he gets to me. If anything, it’s more exciting to me – that’s what I’m here for.”
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Wardley hasn’t fought since crushing Ferenc Zsalek inside a round at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich back in May, and has endured a stop-start career so far, but the 23-year-old says he’s been getting better and better during high-level sparring sessions with the likes of undisputed world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, Whyte himself, Chisora, ex-British champ Sam Sexton and fellow young prospect Daniel DuBois.
“I’ve improved tremendously since turning pro,” he explained. “I was looking back at some of my old fights the other day and it’s like it was a totally different person. To see some of the mistakes I was making, and the way I was moving – that’s not me anymore.”
One of the other big names whom Wardley’s sparred with is undefeated former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who bids to win one of his old belts back this weekend in Los Angeles against WBC king Deontay Wilder, a feared KO artist.
And Wardley is tipping the Brit to come home with the gold.
“Tyson shouldn’t be able to do the things that he does,” Wardley explained. “Bigger guys tend to be slower, but he moves so well that it’s hard to get near him.
“I think Wilder will test him a few times – I can’t see him not getting caught over 12 rounds – but even if he’s dropped, he’s always got up before, and this Fury is a different type of test for anyone.
“I’m confident he’ll win – I’ll take Tyson on points.”
- Wardley also thanked his sponsors for their vital support - Nanotech Pristine, Deluxe Nutrition, DPL Group, CJ Services, Portside Solutions and Whip Street Motors.