FightPost Boxer of the Week: Fabio Wardley
By Gary Kittilsen
On a relatively quiet weekend for the sweet science, one devasting two-punch combination was heard thorough out the boxing world and specifically throughout the heavyweight division.
It was a coming-out party for the undefeated 25-year old heavyweight prospect from Suffolk, England.
Fabio Wardley landed a sensational left hook followed by a right hand around the high guard of Richard Lartey that dropped him like a ton of bricks, just over a minute into the second round leaving Lartey unable to beat the 10-count.
The victory was the best of Wardley’s young career. Lartey, of Accra, Ghana, was supposed to be a rugged opponent that would test Wardley. The Ghanian recently took Nathan Gorman the distance and pushed Daniel Dubois into the fourth round in a back and forth slugfest. He was however completely overmatched and stopped in under two rounds by Wardley who moved his record to 10-0 (9), runs his knockout streak to nine, established himself as a legitimate threat in the heavyweight division and takes home our Fighter of the Week award.
Knowing he was the classier boxer and better athlete Fabio Wardley started the first round carefully, moving backward and working off of a picture-perfect jab. The undefeated Brit was controlling the pace and establishing the distance.
Every time Wardley landed his shotgun jab it was obvious that Lartey felt it and didn’t like it. Wardley was using it to set up something big as the fight progressed. That came just a round later. After one of those snappy jabs sent Lartey backwards yet again, Wardley let loose a violent left-hook followed by a right-hand combination that dropped his Ghanian opponent heavily.
As soon as Lartey dropped it was clear he was badly hurt and referee Victor Loughlin stopped at a count of five and waved the bout off at 1:22 of the second round. He then waived in the ringside paramedic to give the badly wounded Lartey oxygen. The sensational knockout ran Wardleys knockout streak to nine and emphatically answered any questions that lingered about his one-punch power.
Lartey was a quality opponent, a good step up fight for the young Wardley, who needed to win and win impressively in order to stay relevant in the discussion with the other two-elite British heavyweight prospects and win impressively is exactly what he did.
Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois are scheduled to fight each other this upcoming Saturday. The winner of the fight will certainly be considered the premier heavyweight prospect in not only the UK, but in the world and will be closing in on a world title shot.
However, given his latest performance, Wardley is not too far behind the winner of that fight. He has remained active and doing exactly what you would want from any young heavyweight prospect.
Post-fight the victorious Suffölkisch said:
“I’m moving at a good pace, ten fights in, decent opposition. Richard Lartey was a good test on paper in terms of his record and I passed that pretty easily. But I don’t want to get too carried away with myself. I still need to build, there are still things I need to learn. I haven’t got into the second half of a fight, I haven’t got into a right war. There are still a few boxes to tick off before we really step up.”
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing