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Wardley vs Clarke LIVE! Boxing result, reaction and latest updates after bruising heavyweight draw

Wardley vs Clarke - LIVE!

Fabio Wardley retained his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles after a thrilling draw with Frazer Clarke at the O2 Arena. In what will surely prove to be a fight of the year contender, Wardley’s face was rendered a bloody mess as a cut on his increasingly opened up, but he defied that to take control of the bout at the halfway stage.

He dropped Clarke in the fifth round, the 2020 Olympic bronze medalist staggered by a big right hand and then dropped as he back-peddled, and he then had a point deducted for repeated low blows. Despite that, the sense was there was little to split them heading into the championship rounds and even at the final bell after 12 brutal rounds, as Clarke sunk to the canvas in exhaustion and Wardley was wearily lifted up by manager Dillian Whyte.

One judge scored it 114-113 to Wardley, another 115-112 to Clarke, and the third card of 113-113 meant both fighters had a hand raised, enough for Wardley to keep hold of his belts in bruising fashion. Wardley and Clarke swiftly left the ring to be checked over by doctors before any post-fight interviews, with a significant period of rest likely to be required before any calls for a rematch are acted on.

Wardley vs Clarke latest news

  • Wardley and Clarke in thrilling heavyweight draw

  • Chris Kongo superb in win over Florian Marku

  • Ben Whittaker eases to wide points win

  • Viddal Riley retains English cruiserweight title

  • Callum Simpson cruises to stoppage win

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23:41 , Matt Verri

Fabio Wardley retained his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles after a thrilling draw with Frazer Clarke at the O2 Arena.

In what will surely prove to be a fight of the year contender, Wardley’s face was rendered a bloody mess by an increasingly substantial cut on his nose, but he defied that and had momentum on his side at the halfway stage of the bout.

He dropped Clarke in the fifth round, his opponent staggered by a big right hand and then dropped as he back-peddled, and the 2020 Olympic bronze medalist then had a point deducted for repeated low blows to further strengthen Wardley’s position.

But the sense was there was little to split them heading into the championship rounds and even at the final bell after a brutal 36 minute war, as Clarke sunk to the canvas in exhaustion and Wardley was wearily lifted up by manager Dillian Whyte.

One judge scored it 114-113 to Wardley, another 115-112 to Clarke, and the third card of 113-113 meant both fighters had a hand raised, enough for Wardley to keep hold of his belts in bruising fashion and both to remain unbeaten.

Read our full report here!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"No complaints"

22:59 , Matt Verri

As seems to be the general verdict, Tony Bellew thinks a draw was a fair result.

And the campaign for a rematch has started...

22:52 , Matt Verri

We’re going to have a bit of a wait before we hear from either fighter.

Unsurprisingly, both have been taken straight back stage to be checked over by the doctors.

A relentless 12 rounds.

22:48 , Matt Verri

Neither deserved to lose... neither did lose.

Got to think there’s every chance we get a rematch, after such a brilliant 12 rounds.

Both could do with a lengthy rest first though.

It's a draw!

22:45 , Matt Verri

114-113 Wardley

115-112 Clarke

113-113... a draw!

Difficult to argue with that, a split draw. Clarke looks devastated - Wardley keeps hold of his belts!

Drama right until the end!

22:44 , Matt Verri

Clarke and Wardley both absolutely spent after those 12 rounds.

22:43 , Matt Verri

A remarkable fight. Both of them gave absolutely everything.

Brutal bout, they both took so much punishment. Wardley’s face is a mess, but he somehow kept going.

No idea how the judges have seen this. Could easily be a draw - can’t see more than a round either way.

Wardley vs Clarke

22:41 , Matt Verri

Round 12

Here we go then. One big round for either could be enough to win it.

Wardley continues to paw away at his nose, trying to get it under control. No chance of doing that.

He goes for the straight right, Clarke sees it coming though. Two very, very tired heavyweights!

Into the last minute, barely been a punch landed in this round so far.

HERE COMES CLARKE THOUGH! He’s urged on by his team as Wardley staggers onto the ropes after a right hand, but the champion survives.

Now an uppercut from Clarke... and another one! Big finish.

And there’s the final bell - the two of them can barely stand up. In fact, Clarke has collapsed to the floor.

Wardley vs Clarke

22:37 , Matt Verri

Round 11

Wardley’s team get his nose under control for about three seconds, opens up immediately once a punch lands on it. Canvas is covered in blood.

This fight is still there for either to win in the final six minutes, right in the balance.

Wardley pinned back on the ropes after a lovely shot to the body, but he clinches well and smothers Clarke’s work.

They are both swinging away, been such a good fight. Not sure how they’re still standing.

Wardley lets his hands go in the final seconds, with Clarke sat on the ropes. We’re heading to the final round!

Wardley vs Clarke

22:33 , Matt Verri

Round 10

Think this is near enough level on the cards. Wardley maybe a round up.

Clarke seemingly has the more energy here, but Wardley still a real threat as he staggers forward.

Referee has stepped in here. He wants the doctor to have a look at the sorry state of Wardley’s nose. Not a pretty sight.

Doctor gives it a quick wipe and we’re up and running again.

And Wardley is on the charge! Two, three big right hands. Where has this come from? He is sensing his moment. Another delay, as the Clarke gumshield comes out.

Wardley falls onto the ropes, wiping away at his nose. Not sure he can properly see. Nightmare situation, the right eye is closing too.

No surprise that he’s swinging away then, needs this done. Massive right hands thundering in, Clarke taking them.

BIG right hand on the bell too from Wardley. Sensational round.

Wardley vs Clarke

22:28 , Matt Verri

Round 9

So much blood coming from Wardley’s face now - has to be impacting his breathing. No cut man in the world is dealing with that.

He moves back onto the ropes, losing his balance as he does. Clarke opts against charging in.

Scrappy end to the round. Bell has barely gone and Wardley’s team jump into the ring to start work on his nose.

Wardley vs Clarke

22:24 , Matt Verri

Round 8

Wardley’s nose is a mess, but it doesn’t seem to be bothering him too much for now.

Sets his feet in the centre of the ring and goes to work on Clarke’s body. Wardley does not look like a man who intends to go 12 rounds.

Clarke looking more comfortable in terms of fitness - not feeling the need to push things.

A tough round to score. Wardley probably just about ahead on the cards, but he does look weary.

Wardley vs Clarke

22:20 , Matt Verri

Round 7

Both looking very tired already, heading into the second half of this bout. Neither used to being taken into later rounds.

We’ll have a time out, after Wardley is caught low by Clarke. And it’s a point off!

Referee suggests that’s the third low blow from Clarke, so he is punished. Can’t afford that.

Will that force him to be a bit more purposeful now? Does look to be going through the gears, two more nice uppercuts are thundered in.

Wardley vs Clarke

22:15 , Matt Verri

Round 6

Clarke’s legs look to still be under him. He was back-peddling as he was dropped, wasn’t too heavy a knockdown.

Here comes Wardley again though, big uppercut! Goes for an even bigger right hand, wild in the end.

Clarke’s head snapped back once again, he’s under huge pressure now. But here is the response, good work to the body.

Or maybe not - warning for a low blow.

Halfway point of the fight, Clarke has to be ahead on the cards after the last couple of rounds.

Wardley vs Clarke

22:11 , Matt Verri

Round 5

Wardley’s best round of the fight in the opening minute. Landing his job now, and then backs it up with a sharp uppercut on the inside.

The champion is teeing off on Clarke now! Pushes him back onto the ropes, putting the combinations together.

AND CLARKE DOES DOWN!

He tried to move away, but Wardley catches him and Clarke stumbles over.

Makes the count and the bell goes immediately. Big moment.

Wardley vs Clarke

22:08 , Matt Verri

Round 4

Clarke was the underdog going into this fight, but he has made an impressive start. Jab is setting up the bigger shots, nothing flashy but certainly effective.

More like it from Wardley, right to the head and then good work to the body. Clarke responds though, great uppercut.

Bruising fight, Clarke lands flush with a left hook in the final seconds. Think that’s his round again.

Wardley vs Clarke

22:04 , Matt Verri

Round 3

Bit of a wild left hook from Wardley, Clarke saw that one coming a mile off.

No half-measures with the right from Wardley when he does throw it. Clarke does look troubled when it lands.

More blood from Wardley’s nose, Clarke’s jab continues to come snapping in. Has to be a worry for Davison and the team.

Clarke 2-1 up after three on our card.

Wardley vs Clarke

22:00 , Matt Verri

Round 2

Better start from Wardley, overhand right and Clarke is pushed back onto the ropes.

Whatever Ben Davison said to Wardley between rounds, it’s had an impact. Starting to ask some questions of Clarke.

Fight is heating up, Clarke lands a couple of nice uppercuts but Wardley keeps coming forward.

Double jab from Clarke, follows it with a straight right and a left hook. Bit of blood from the nose of Wardley already.

Big right hand from him though, Clarke is staggered! That stunned him, didn’t look comfortable there for a few seconds but he’s recovered.

Brilliant final few seconds of the round, they trade in the centre of the ring. Great start to this bout.

Wardley vs Clarke

21:55 , Matt Verri

Round 1

Clarke lands a solid jab, just as Wardley went in search of a big right hand. Misses by a fair distance.

It’s Clarke on top in the early stages, setting things up with the jab and finding his range with the right hand.

That’s very much the opening round to Clarke. All coming from the jab, really confident start.

Ding ding!

21:53 , Matt Verri

The main event is underway!

21:50 , Matt Verri

Clarke 8-0 with six knockouts. Wardley 17-0 with 16 knockouts.

Two Brits. Two unbeaten heavyweights.

It has all the ingredients for a memorable night. Underway very, very shortly.

21:46 , Matt Verri

Here comes Fabio Wardley.

He’s in no rush whatsoever, going to keep Frazer Clarke waiting for every possible second.

Dillian Whyte walking him to to the ring, holding up an Ipswich flag.

21:43 , Matt Verri

Frazer Clarke first to make his way to the ring. Opts for a bit of Coldplay.

He had a decorated amateur career, but this is his biggest night as a professional by a mile.

Time for the big one!

21:37 , Matt Verri

Next up... the main event!

Fabio Wardley defends his British and Commonwealth titles against Frazer Clarke.

 (LAWRENCE LUSTIG)
(LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

Some fight news for you...

21:33 , Matt Verri

Adam Azim will fight Harlem Eubank next, that fight has just been announced.

Barry McGuigan and Chris Eubank Sr are in the ring to play their part.

Reminder that Azim has been ordered to fight Dalton Smith by two bodies, but we can take this as fairly obvious evidence he will be pulling out of those purse bids.

Kongo by unanimous decision!

21:27 , Matt Verri

Here are the cards.

96-94. 96-93. 98-92.

The winner by unanimous decision... Chris Kongo!

Had to be. Could easily have been wider on a couple of those cards, but he won’t care one bit!

Marku vs Kongo

21:23 , Matt Verri

Round 10

Now or never for Marku. Kongo is three minutes away from victory.

Two right hands from Marku land flush, good start to this round. Needs more.

But Kongo is back in charge, left uppercut and he then rolls off the ropes brilliantly. Marku cannot keep him within range.

And another left uppercut, Kongo still looks full of energy heading into the final minute.

The Brit ends up almost entirely through the ropes after the latest messy clinch - he is seconds away from victory.

And there it is! That has to be a wide points win for Kongo. Superb performance.

Marku vs Kongo

21:19 , Matt Verri

Round 9

Marku needs to throw the kitchen sink and anything else he can find at this. Have to feel he needs a couple of knockdowns.

Still Kongo is able to smother him though, good head movement too when Marku does get on the inside.

Albanian fans trying to inspire a late burst from their man, but no sign of it for now.

Another round ticks away for Marku, who complains to the referee about something. He knows this isn’t going his way.

Two rounds to go

21:16 , Matt Verri

Marku in big trouble - well behind on the cards.

Marku vs Kongo

21:15 , Matt Verri

Round 8

Time out called by the referee. It’s a final chat to Marku, who is told he will have a point off or be disqualified if there are any more warnings for punching to the back of the head.

A word too to Kongo about his holding.

Kongo is full of confidence now, he knows he’s in charge of this fight. Moving so well, landing with that right hand and then gliding out of trouble.

Marku lands a right here, but referee quickly jumps in after Kongo’s gumshield pops out.

And there’s another punch around the back of the head from Marku - it’s a point off! Last thing he needed.

Kongo is teeing off on Marku now, body and head. Good shot from Marku in response, left hook, but it’s nowhere near enough.

Kongo cruising as it stands. Marku needs a stoppage in the final six minutes.

Marku vs Kongo

21:10 , Matt Verri

Round 7

Kongo doesn’t look like a man who is tiring. Still moving nicely, not letting himself stay in range for Marku to hit.

The Brit is pushed back onto the ropes, Marku tries to jump on him but again the defence is good. Nothing clean lands.

Brilliant final 30 seconds from Kongo, he is completely in control. So slick. Landing more and more with the right hand, Marku looking short of answers.

Kongo must have a big lead on the cards.

Marku vs Kongo

21:06 , Matt Verri

Round 6

Marku is marching forward without a care in the world. Knows he has to get up close to Kongo.

Counter right from Kongo is a good one, and he then spins off the ropes away from Marku.

The Albanian does push Kongo back this time, tries to let his hands go but gets caught with a body shot at the same time.

Four rounds to go - Marku might need all of them.

Marku vs Kongo

21:02 , Matt Verri

Round 5

It’s a messy bout. More and more Kongo is having to hold, trying to prevent Marku having success on the inside. Kongo’s best moments are coming with the jab, he wants this fight at range.

Marku trying to force the issue, but he’s caught with a right hand as he charges in.

Cleaner work very much coming from Kongo. He’s in control at halfway.

Marku vs Kongo

20:58 , Matt Verri

Round 4

This clinching from Kongo will be frustrating Marku. Keeps throwing out shots to the back of the head in response, having already been warned.

Words from Marku towards Kongo at the end of the round - again it’s a tough one to score.

I’ve got it 3-1 Kongo.

Marku vs Kongo

20:54 , Matt Verri

Round 3

Referee has a word with Kongo, think there is too much holding from the Brit.

Cut to the side of his right eye doesn’t seem to be bothering, not a particularly big one.

Scrappy round, but Kongo just about on top. He’s stopping Marku getting any sort of success at close-range.

Marku vs Kongo

20:50 , Matt Verri

Round 2

Already some bruising under the left eye of Marku. Kongo’s right hand having an early impact.

That evens it up though, a small cut by Kongo’s right eye.

Marku finishing the round well, lands a clean right hand and then snaps in a jab.

Kongo still doing a fairly good job of clinching when Marku does get in close, but it’s a better round for the Albanian. 1-1.

Marku vs Kongo

20:46 , Matt Verri

Round 1

Kongo very much the bigger man, he’ll have the advantage when fighting at range. Marku warned after landing a couple of shots on the back of the head.

Early signs would suggest Kongo intends to hold when Marku tries to get to work on the inside.

Left to the body from Marku, but he is again then smothered.

Even start to this bout.

20:40 , Matt Verri

Plenty of support for Marku, Albanian fans have turned up in numbers. He’s accompanied by an Albanian rapper on his way to the ring too, of course.

Ten three-minute rounds scheduled. Time to find out if we need them.

20:37 , Matt Verri

One more fight before the main event and it’s a big one - Florian Marku vs Chris Kongo!

It has threatened to kick off between these two all week, just about kept under control.

Let’s hope it really explodes in the ring.

Whittaker: I can take shots

20:32 , Matt Verri

Whittaker says he deliberately let Willings hit him, to prove he has a good chin.

You can make your own decision as to whether you believe that or not.

Good for Whittaker to be tested somewhat though, as he moves to 7-0.

20:28 , Matt Verri

Or not. 78-73 Whittaker.

Willings can be really proud of his efforts. Should be plenty more big fights for the 23-year-old after that.

Whittaker, though, marches on.

Whittaker vs Willings

20:27 , Matt Verri

Round 8

Will Whittaker push for a stoppage in the final round?

Apparently not. Nice one-two with Willings on the ropes, but the pace is fairly slow in these last three minutes.

Whittaker on the ropes - can Willings land anything in these closing seconds?

No. There is the final bell, big effort from Willings to go the distance.

Probably 80-71 Whittaker, you’d imagine.

Whittaker vs Willings

20:21 , Matt Verri

Round 7

Willings leaning right back on the ropes. Plenty of punches landing, but he’s taking them really well. Can he make it to the final bell? Would be a deserved reward for a brave performance.

He’s throwing less too, visibly tiring now. Whittaker still not pushing the pace though, it’s all very safe and patient from him.

Here we go - Willings with another burst. And he swings himself off his feet! Goes for a massive left hand, misses by a mile and falls over.

Whittaker can’t help but laugh.

Whittaker vs Willings

20:17 , Matt Verri

Round 6

Whittaker turning back to the jab, snapping it it from distance.

There’s been a lot less in the way of showboating and dancing as the fight has gone on - he knows he’s being given a decent test.

Fairly uneventful round that. Two to go.

Whittaker vs Willings

20:13 , Matt Verri

Round 5

Nice uppercut from Willings, but it is otherwise more of the same from Whittaker.

Firmly in control, his opponent on the ropes... but not too much landing really flush.

Two left hooks from Willings, Whittaker with his hands by his side but doesn’t flinch.

Fearless stuff from Willings - those uppercuts are the threat.

Another round for Whittaker, but he is not having this all his own way.

Of course...

20:10 , Matt Verri

Couldn’t be a Ben Whittaker fight without a bit of dancing.

Whittaker vs Willings

20:09 , Matt Verri

Round 4

Willings is giving this a real go, for all the punishment he is taking. Whittaker taking the shots that do land well, though.

Bit of a lull in pace, Whittaker has parked the showboating for now. Knows he needs to just get full control back, after a decent spell for Willings.

Fairly dull round, by Whittaker’s standards. He’s 4-0 up though, with a knockdown to add to that.

Whittaker vs Willings

20:05 , Matt Verri

Round 3

Felt like the fight was a few seconds away from being stopped, with Willings on the ropes and Whittaker teeing off.

Fair play though, Willings rolls away and survives. For now.

Whittaker caught there though, sharp jab from Willings. A nod from Whittaker, who then spends about ten seconds pointing and talking at Willings’ corner.

Cut on Willings’ right eye now, as Whittaker opts for a bit more dancing.

Whittaker vs Willings

20:01 , Matt Verri

Round 2

A bit of noise from the crowd was Willings seemingly lands a decent left hand. Whittaker turns and stares at those ringside in response.

Right, left, right... Whittaker can’t miss.

Willings is lining up the uppercut, keeps looking for it. Missing it by a mile, for now.

Better round for Willings, but that isn’t saying much. Whittaker as confident as ever.

Whittaker vs Willings

19:57 , Matt Verri

Round 1

Whittaker landing a succession of jabs to the chest, before a big right hand to the head as Willings crouches down in the corner.

Willings down! Glove touches the canvas, a chopping right hand from Whittaker.

Ruthless stuff so far, no showboating. Pure business.

More good work to the body, Willings is camped in the corner. Having a miserable time in there.

And there is the showboating, a bit of dancing in the final seconds of the round. As one-sided a fight as you will see.

Ding ding!

19:53 , Matt Verri

Up and running. Eight rounds scheduled.

Here we go!

19:51 , Matt Verri

Typically eventful ring walk, the fun starts even before Whittaker climbs between the ropes.

He’s 6-0 as a professional - hasn’t even vaguely been tested yet.

Next up...

19:45 , Matt Verri

Three fights to go tonight.

Ben Whittaker is in action next - expect plenty of dancing, showboating and a bit of boxing thrown in for good measure.

He takes on Leon Willings, and anything other than another routine win would be a big shock.

Potential British showdown

19:42 , Matt Verri

Chamberlain beat Lawal in October to become British champion, and Riley has not seen off the same man to retain his English title.

Chamberlain vs Riley next?

19:40 , Matt Verri

Interview is cut short after it all kicks off, with Chev Clarke also on the scene.

More action in that scuffle than we had in 30 minutes inside the ring.

19:39 , Matt Verri

Isaac Chamberlain is ringside and he’s moved in to join the post-fight interview.

Viddal Riley makes it clear he wants his British cruiserweight title.

“Running, running, running,” is Chamberlain’s verdict on Riley’s performance. Unimpressed.

Riley defends his title!

19:35 , Matt Verri

Here are the cards.

98-92, 99-91, 99-91... and still!

Riley retains his English cruiserweight title with a wide points win.

Riley vs Lawal

19:31 , Matt Verri

Round 10

No sign of Viddal taking that advice on board. Doesn’t need to, to be fair.

His footwork has been too good for Lawal, who just hasn’t been able to get within range often enough.

Into the final minute, left to the body from Viddal. Looking to finish with a flourish.

There is the final bell. Not exactly a thriller, but a comfortable win for Riley. We’ve got it 98-92 in his favour.

Riley vs Lawal

19:28 , Matt Verri

Round 9

Lawal backed up into the corner - Riley not wanting to risk anything by really pushing for the knockout. He’ll win this fight if he hears the final bell.

More action in the final five seconds of the round than pretty much the whole bout, Riley with a bit more force behind his punches and Lawal looking for a miracle shot with a wild right.

“Let your shots go, son”... that’s the message from the Viddal corner ahead of the final round.

Riley vs Lawal

19:23 , Matt Verri

Round 8

Couple of better left hands from Riley. He’s in control of this fight, without throwing enough to be really dominant.

Left hook lands again, combination gets through the defences. Lawal is there to be hit, and he’s struggling to land anything himself, Riley’s movement still as good as it was in the early stages.

Riley is starting to let his hands go a bit more - 6-2 up on the very official Standard Sport card.

Riley vs Lawal

19:19 , Matt Verri

Round 7

Will Riley tire after all his movement? Will Lawal try and force the issue? Will anything happen?

No answer to any of those questions in the seventh.

There’s a bit of action every now and then, normally Riley landing a decent shot, but no combinations from either.

Bell goes for the end of the round with 15 seconds still on the TV clock. I approve.

Riley vs Lawal

19:15 , Matt Verri

Round 6

Lawal goes for the big right hand, Riley ducks under it and spins Lawal around.

Has his man on the ropes, lands two or three nice shorts. More like it from the English champion.

Riley having a good run, clean shots are getting through. Right to the body, he’s edging it when it comes to work-rate.

I’ve got Riley 4-2 up, but not an easy one for the judges.

Riley vs Lawal

19:11 , Matt Verri

Round 5

At last they do get close. Riley keen to put a stop to that and he almost throws Lawal out of the ring. Bounces into the ropes.

Good counter left from Lawal, after Riley had moved in. Then looks to go to the body. Watch out... a fight is starting to break out here.

Riley very light on his fight, dancing around the ring. Making it tough for Lawal to sustain any sort of pressure.

Halfway point of the fight - best of luck scoring it.

Riley vs Lawal

19:08 , Matt Verri

Round 4

Lawal’s best moment of the fight, gets Riley backed up in the corner briefly. Nothing clean landed though, and we’re quickly back into the pattern of Riley moving well.

Will suit Lawal if he can get to a point where they do trade in the middle of the ring.

He’s having a bit more success now, Riley not able to skip around in the way he was earlier in the bout.

It’s very tight after four rounds. Riley has had the better of it, just about, but wouldn’t be a surprise if it was 2-2 on the cards.

Riley vs Lawal

19:03 , Matt Verri

Round 3

It is basically silent at the O2 Arena. Crowd not exactly engaged with this bout.

Lack of action not helping the atmosphere, as Riley continues to move around the outside of the ring and out of trouble.

Another round that Riley has probably just about edged, but this has not been a great watch so far.

Riley vs Lawal

18:59 , Matt Verri

Round 2

More of the same. Riley staying patient, jab is sharp when he does throw it.

Lawal still standing in the centre of the ring, but Riley is moving nicely and keeping Lawal guessing.

Good finish to the round from Riley, a couple of nice right hands enough for him to take it.

Riley vs Lawal

18:55 , Matt Verri

Round 1

Relatively cagey start to this fight, with Lawal in centre ring and Riley just looking to jab at range.

Been slightly more aggressive from Lawal, but that’s a fairly low bar. Very little in the way of punches thrown.

Not an easy round to score at all. Lawal potentially just edging it.

18:49 , Matt Verri

Lawal was unbeaten until he was well-beaten on points by Isaac Chamberlain in October.

This is his first fight since that disappointment - knows back-to-back defeats really would be disastrous.

Riley, meanwhile, is 10-0, with six of those wins coming inside the distance.

Time to get this one up and running.

The fun continues

18:47 , Matt Verri

Onto our third fight of the night.

English cruiserweight champion Viddal Riley takes on Mikael Lawal. Riley picked up the belt when beating Nathan Quarless last year.

Lawal on his way to the ring.

More from Simpson...

18:45 , Matt Verri

He says he didn’t want it to be too good a performance, with Chelli watching at ringside.

Hmmmm.

18:42 , Matt Verri

Aaaaand it’s less friendly now.

They’ve started arguing over where that fight takes place.

Chelli says it should be in London, as he’s the champion. “It can be in London when you sell more than ten tickets,” responds Simpson, who wants it in Barnsley.

One to hopefully look forward to in the summer, wherever it is.

Chelli vs Simpson next?

18:38 , Matt Verri

Simpson moves to 14-0.

He’s the mandatory challenger for Zak Chelli’s British super-middleweight title - sounds like we won’t have to wait too long for that one.

“Let’s go Chelli, let’s go,” Simpson says.

Promoter Ben Shalom says he thinks that fight will happen next.

Chelli is ringside - all very friendly between the pair, with a handshake.

Simpson too good!

18:33 , Matt Verri

Brutal finish - didn’t ever look like Mbabe was getting up from that.

Simpson stops Mbabe!

18:31 , Matt Verri

Round 4

MBABE DOWN!

Massive right from Simpson, after a left to the body.

Mbabe is shaking his head, no chance he’s beating the count. And he doesn’t - Simpson has a fourth-round stoppage win!

Superb performance.

Simpson vs Mbabe

18:28 , Matt Verri

Round 3

Huge trouble for Mbabe - Simpson has him backed in the corner and is throwing everything at him. Six, seven punch combination.

Simpson firmly in control, really impressive so far.

Patient too, picking his shots after that flurry early in the round.

BIG left hand in the final seconds of the round, Mbabe’s head snapped back. Does well to make it through that round.

Simpson 3-0 up.

Simpson vs Mbabe

18:25 , Matt Verri

Round 2

Mbabe spending less time on the ropes, able to set up camp in the centre of the ring.

Simpson looks confident though, establishing that jab nicely.

Fairly even round. Contrast between the early quality of this bout and the Babic slugfest...

Simpson vs Mbabe

18:20 , Matt Verri

Round 1

Ten rounds of super-middleweight scheduled - we’re underway.

Explosive start, trading from the opening minute. Both letting their hands go, we’re in for some fight if this is a sign of things to come.

Simpson backs Mbabe onto the ropes - really strong finish to the round. Simpson takes it.

Here we go!

18:13 , Matt Verri

Time to get the main undercard up and running.

Callum Simpson and Dulla Mbabe are making their way to the ring.

Reminder of tonight's card

18:06 , Matt Verri

One down, five to go!

Fabio Wardley vs Frazer Clarke

Ben Whittaker vs Leon Willings

Florian Marku vs Chris Kongo

Viddal Riley vs Mikael Lawal

Callum Simpson vs Dulla Mbabe

Post-fight reaction from Babic

17:57 , Matt Verri

A successful night for Alen Babic, even if his win maybe took a little longer than he would have expected.

He’s moved to 12-1, with this his first fight since that first-round defeat to Lukasz Rozanski last year, when the WBC bridgerweight title was on the line.

Is Clarke now ready?

17:48 , Matt Verri

Wardley vs Clarke was of course previously ordered for the British title and should have taken place last year.

That fell through though, after Clarke’s promoters decided he was not ready and pulled him out on the day of scheduled purse bids.

The 32-year-old has had just eight professional bouts, after a decorated amateur career.

Clarke comes into this fight having beaten Mariusz Wach over ten rounds last year, before stopping Dave Allen in September.

 (PA)
(PA)

Wardley the man to beat

17:38 , Matt Verri

Fabio Wardley looks to defend his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles in tonight’s main event, against Frazer Clarke.

The 29-year-old, who is 17-0 as a professional with 16 knockouts, is unsurprisingly the favourite.

Wardley beat Nathan Gorman to pick up the British belt in November 2022, and added the Commonwealth title to his collection in October last year, when he stopped David Adeleye in Saudi Arabia.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

It had been coming...

17:31 , Matt Verri

No surprise that the fight was brought to a premature conclusion.

If the referee hadn’t have jumped in, Robinson’s corner wouldn’t have been far behind.

Babic stops Robinson!

17:28 , Matt Verri

Round 6

Robinson has ‘Drago’ on his shirts. It’s not quite how I remember the films.

Babic lands two more left hooks, whips in a right... and the referee waves it off!

Good decision, didn’t need to see more of that. Babic marches on.

Babic vs Robinson

17:25 , Matt Verri

Round 5

More windmilling. Robinson in particular is gasping for air.

Babic drops his hands, Robinson lands with the left hook but no power in it. He is exhausted, to put it mildly.

Two, three, four right hands from Babic. Robinson staggers on - you worry there is a big knockout coming.

We’ve made it to the halfway point of the bout. Miraculous.

Babic vs Robinson

17:22 , Matt Verri

Round 4

Not sure how this is still going. Babic landing at will, but Robinson continues to take the punches coming his way.

Two more big left hooks, and now Robinson does stagger after the overhand right! Still a minute left in the round.

For once though there isn’t a flurry coming from Babic. He too is feeling the pace.

Robinson tries to land a big right of his own on the bell - misses by about six feet.

Babic 4-0 up.

Babic vs Robinson

17:18 , Matt Verri

Round 3

Robinson given some time to recover, after Babic lands a shot below the belt.

Babic continues to keep the pace of the high, landing plenty on the inside when he gets in close.

It has had the feel of the last 30 seconds of a fight... since about the second minute.

Left hook from Babic, Robinson is taking it well though. His chin has held up.

Babic’s round once more. Would be a big surprise if we needed the cards though.

Babic vs Robinson

17:14 , Matt Verri

Round 2

Babic is trying to land that huge overhand right at every opportunity. Fairly easy to see it coming though.

Robinson under a lot of pressure, just trying to hold on the ropes. He’s taking a lot of shots, relentless pace.

Neither fighter showing much interest in landing a jab. Big shots only.

Another good flurry from Babic in the final seconds, very much his round.

Babic vs Robinson

17:10 , Matt Verri

Round 1

It’s an all-action start to this fight, as we predicted. Both look dangerous - both also look very tired already.

Babic has Robinson on the ropes for the final 20 seconds, nothing particularly clean landing though.

I’d suggest this won’t be lasting very long.

Ding ding!

17:07 , Matt Verri

We’re up and running.

And Babic has basically charged at Robinson from the first bell. Settle in.

Early undercard action

17:02 , Matt Verri

Not many inside the O2 Arena, but the action is about to get underway.

The first bout of the night sees Alen Babic take on Steve Robinson.

They are about to make their way to the ring. Probably not one we expect to go the full ten rounds...

Earlier in the night...

16:58 , Matt Verri

Before we get to tonight’s main event, there is plenty to look forward to on the undercard.

Florian Marku vs Chris Kongo is probably the most anticipated of the bouts before the main event - fair to see they’re not hugely fond of each other.

Litmus test a year in the making

16:51 , Matt Verri

Frazer Clarke is trying to pull off a feat long before Lennox Lewis, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury ever achieved it.

That trio managed to win British heavyweight titles in their 15th professional fights while Clarke, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist, is trying to do it in only his ninth.

His opponent at the O2 Arena on Easter Sunday, Fabio Wardley, argues it has come too soon for Clarke, and that he will dominate a fight labelled ‘Bad Blood’, which has taken a year to reach fruition.

Clarke hardly suggested he was primed for the fight when his promoter pulled him from purse bids over the initially proposed clash last year, and the boxer bore some of the resultant criticism, too.

It is a fight of contrasting backstories. While Wardley started in white-collar boxing, Clarke got his grounding in the safer environs of the GB amateur boxing set-up. With just 31 rounds to his professional resumé, it is hard to judge exactly where he is in his career.

Read our full preview here!

 (LAWRENCE LUSTIG)
(LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

Main event prediction

16:36 , Matt Verri

Clarke’s rather lacklustre pro career to date makes it somewhat difficult to judge exactly what level he’s at.

He’s been beyond four rounds just twice so far, beating Wach in a very tedious contest and then overcoming ‘White Rhino’ Allen on a bizarre night in which ‘Big Fraz’ was almost deducted three points for low blows and appeared on the verge of disqualification.

He faces a clear step up against Wardley, who is three years younger than Clarke at 29 but clearly much further along in his development having turned pro four years earlier.

Fabio Wardley stopped David Adeleye on the Tyson Fury-Francis Ngannou undercard in Saudi Arabia in October

As such a fearsome knockout artist, Wardley has been past six rounds just once (barely, stopping Adeleye early in the seventh in Riyadh) himself so far.

Some people have this pegged as a real 50/50 in an old-school battle between two hulking British heavyweights, but we see the harder-hitting Wardley as the clear standout favourite who will win by stoppage in the mid-to-late rounds.

Wardley to win via knockout in the late rounds.

Timings for tonight's boxing action

16:29 , Matt Verri

Wardley vs Clarke takes place tonight at the O2 Arena in London.

The undercard is due to start at around 6pm BST, with the main event expected to begin at approximately 9pm.

As ever, those exact timings are subject to change.

Card in full

16:26 , Matt Verri

On tonight’s undercard, Clarke’s fellow Tokyo 2020 Olympic medalist Ben Whittaker returns against Leon Willings and Florian Marku meets Chris Kongo in a potentially explosive welterweight showdown.

Callum Simpson, mandatory challenger for Zak Chelli’s British super-middleweight title, battles Tanzania’s Dulla Mbabe and English cruiserweight champion Viddal Riley meets Mikael Lawal, who lost the British belt to Isaac Chamberlain in October.

Alen ‘The Savage’ Babic also looks to bounce back from his WBC bridgerweight title defeat by Lukasz Rozanski as he clashes with Steve Robinson.

Fabio Wardley vs Frazer Clarke

Ben Whittaker vs Leon Willings

Florian Marku vs Chris Kongo

Viddal Riley vs Mikael Lawal

Alen Babic vs Steve Robinson

Callum Simpson vs Dulla Mbabe

How to watch Wardley vs Clarke

16:18 , Matt Verri

TV channel: In the UK, Wardley vs Clarke is being shown live tonight on Sky Sports. Coverage gets underway at 6pm on Sky Sports Action and 7pm on Sky Sports Main Event.

Live stream: Those with a Sky Sports subscription can also catch the whole event live online via the Sky Go app.

Live blog: You won’t miss a single second of tonight’s fight card right here with us!

Good afternoon!

15:59 , Matt Verri

Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Fabio Wardley vs Frazer Clarke.

A much anticipated heavyweight showdown between the two undefeated British rivals - they finally meet in the ring at the 02 Arena tonight.

We’ll have full coverage of that main event as well as the full undercard before it. Stick with us for a big night of boxing!

 (LAWRENCE LUSTIG)
(LAWRENCE LUSTIG)