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Reliving Five Epic All-British Heavyweight Bouts – Setting the Stage for Fabio Wardley vs. Frazer Clarke on March 31

Reliving Five Epic All-British Heavyweight Bouts - Setting the Stage for Fabio Wardley vs. Frazer Clarke on March 31

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Reliving Five Epic All-British Heavyweight Bouts – Setting the Stage for Fabio Wardley vs. Frazer Clarke on March 31

Sky Sports Boxing

Reliving Five Epic All-British Heavyweight Bouts – Setting the Stage for Fabio Wardley vs. Frazer Clarke on March 31

On Sunday, March 31, Fabio Wardley (17-0, 16 KOs) will face fellow undefeated fighter Frazer Clarke (8-0, 6 KOs) in the main event on the Boxxer promotions Bad Blood card at the O2 Arena in London. Over the years there have been some memorable all-British fights, and as we build up to March 31, we wanted to bring you five epic all-British heavyweight bouts to help set the stage for Wardley vs. Clarke.

Setting the Stage for Fabio Wardley vs. Frazer Clarke

Reliving Five Epic All-British Heavyweight Bouts

Lennox Lewis vs. Frank Bruno

On October 1, 1993, Lennox Lewis faced Frank Bruno at Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales for the WBC heavyweight title. The buildup was not a friendly one, with Bruno accusing the Lewis camp of using the insult “Uncle Tom.”

Read More: Revisiting Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield I

Once fight night arrived, the atmosphere was electric, with Bruno starting the brighter, and hurting Lewis with a big right hand early on. Lewis slowly got into the fight and finally caught his opponent with a big left hook in round seven, which he followed up with a smart combination, which ultimately stopped Bruno. This victory propelled Lewis to prove he was the best heavyweight of his era.

David Haye vs. Derek Chisora

On July 14, 2012, a fierce rivalry between Derek Chisora and David Haye that began with an ugly press conference scuffle in Germany, finally made its way to Upton Park. Due to the troubles in Germany, the bout was licenced by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation and was marketed as “Licensed to Thrill.”

Read More: Herbie Hide Dethrones WBO Champion Michael Bentt

Chisora looked to use his bigger frame to bully Haye and it seemed to be working until “Hayemaker” started to find his range with more regularity, and then in round five, a monster left hook from Haye knocked down “War,” who managed to beat the count, but “The Hayemaker” smelt blood, landing another heavy left hook, knocking his opponent down, forcing the referee to wave the fight off.

Henry Cooper vs. Joe Bugner

Henry Cooper vs. Joe Bugner took place on March 16, 1971, at Wembley Arena, and is remembered for its controversial ending, and being the final fight of Cooper’s career. After 15 gruelling rounds, the sell-out 10,000 crowd erupted into a loud chorus of boos when Bugners hand was raised in victory by the margin of a quarter‐point, with the scores being 73¾ points to 73½.

Read More: Ali again defeated Henry Cooper in their 1966 rematch

It was often a battle of the jabs with 21-year-old Bugner tentative in his approach. The Lambeth-born fighter struggled to let his trademark left hook go, and with the fight close, Bugner pulled ahead in the middle rounds, but the 36-year-old Cooper came fighting back in the later rounds and was the aggressor at the end of the fight. 

Boxing commentator Harry Carpenter summed it up perfectly at the time, saying: “How in the world can you take away the man’s three titles like that?”

Carl Froch vs. George Groves II

On May 31, 2014, Carl Froch and George Groves met in their rematch at Wembley Stadium in London, England in front of 80,000 people, in what was the biggest-ever attendance for a boxing match in Britain since the Second World War. The first fight was one of the most controversial endings in British boxing history, with Froch surviving a first-round knockdown before he hurt Groves in round nine for the first time in the fight, with referee Howard Foster stepping in to wave the fight off.

Read More: ‘The Better Man Won on the Night’: George Groves vs. Chris Eubank Jr. Revisited

The rematch was again for Froch’s IBF and WBA straps and was more tactical than their first encounter, with both looking to outbox the other rather than engage. It was a close fight as the bout reached round eight, with “The Cobra” landing the more telling blows, but “Saint George” was working well creating angles that were giving him success. Froch then delivered a massive right hand while pinned on the ropes, knocking Groves out and forcing the referee to call the fight off.

Nigel Benn vs. Chris Eubank

Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn locked horns in their much-anticipated rematch on October 9, 1993. Their first fight saw Eubank win by ninth-round TKO in Birmingham on November 18, 1990. The boisterous crowd of 42,000 people witnessed an action-packed rematch.

Benn started the aggressor, throwing heavy-handed right hooks before Eubank showcased his exceptional footwork, which enabled him to create an angle to land a straight right, which shook the “Dark Destroyer.” Benn did his best work when he evaded that lead hand from Eubank and got inside to work the body. 

Read More: Almost 30 years ago Nigel Benn kayoed Iran Barkley

In round five, there was a fierce exchange between the two, with “Simply the Best” getting on top in those exchanges. Benn came on strong as we entered the latter part of the fight. The final round saw Eubank end the stronger, with both fighters celebrating after the final bell. The judge’s scorecards read 114-113 for Benn, 115-113 for Eubank and the final card 114-114.

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Freelance Writer and Digital Marketer, spending most of his time waiting for the Tyson Fury vs Usyk announcement. Also watches YouTube videos of Lennox Lewis fights on a daily basis.

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