Frazer Clarke is enjoying perfect preparation for his November 12 contest with Kamil Sokolowski, live on Sky Sports – with the help of two of the biggest names in heavyweight boxing.
Sokolowski is renowned as one of the toughest journeymen on the heavyweight circuit and is expected to give the Olympic bronze medallist the first test of his professional career.
In camp in Loughborough Clarke has been getting rounds in with stablemate Richard Riakporhe and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Delicious Orie.
He also travelled to London to train with Derek Chisora as the latter readies himself for his third fight with Tyson Fury.
And with his own coaches in Loughborough, Clarke called on former heavyweight champion and old friend Anthony Joshua to lend him a hand.
“I’ve come for a few days to do some sparring. My coaches have got other fighters in the gym,” Clarke told Sky Sports. “Why would I not call him?
“It’s quite normal practice, you ask one of your mates to give you a drink, a little bit of advice. Nothing more, nothing less. Lace my gloves up, put some pads on, give me a drink, tell me to stop dropping that lead hand and that was it.
“No matter what they say, two-time heavyweight champion of the world, unified champion, Olympic gold medallist, say what you want about him,” Clarke added. “I’ll take advice from him [rather] than John who’s sat behind a computer eating a Big Mac.”
It was good for Clarke. He also believes it was positive for Joshua. “He loves boxing. It’s the environment,” he said.
“A boxing gym is a good place to be especially in this day and age. If you’re a boxer and you’re not currently fighting at the minute and you’re not feeling quite great or whatever, get yourself down the gym, spend some time round the lads, help give a drink, hold the bag for someone, it’s good for you. It’s good for that mind.
Getting some ferocious rounds in with Chisora was especially beneficial for Clarke. “I feel like it’s perfect timing stylistically to come and put the rounds in with Derek,” he explained.
“He actually took me a full day with him. We had sparring and then I went and did an S&C session. Credit where it’s due. That man trains very hard. Very hard.
“It’s real. It’s real sparring. Big gloves obviously but Derek Chisora can make it as rough and tough as you want it. He’s the original throwback, thoroughbred, tough man and I’m learning a lot from him as well. Not just boxing, just about little things, being in the gym, doing the camp.”
Clarke warns against discounting Chisora in his challenge next month for Tyson Fury’s WBC heavyweight championship.
“For this fight it’s not just the physical preparation, it’s the mental side. He’s boxing somebody who’s beat him twice, he’s not going in there to embarrass himself. He’s really putting it in. I know a lot of people don’t want this fight to go ahead,” Clarke said.
“But make no mistake about it, Derek Chisora is preparing like a madman and he will be giving him a hard day.
“It’s not AJ, it’s not [Deontay] Wilder, it’s not [Oleksandr] Usyk, where else do you go? He’ll give it as good a go as anyone else.”
Putting the time in with high calibre fighters is another sign that Clarke expects to advance quickly. He intends to showcase his quality against Sokolowski and is already eyeing the British heavyweight title that Nathan Gorman and Fabio Wardley will be fighting for later this month.
“If you think I haven’t looked a Fabio Wardley and Nathan Gorman fighting, I’m going to be at ringside as interested as anyone, with a pen and paper and a camera. I will be there. It’s my job as a professional fighter. Not looking ahead but looking around. It’s nature,” he said.
“In 2023 if I progress properly that’s the level we want to be at.”
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