In his latest column, former Olympian and heavyweight contender Frazer Clarke previews Tommy Fury vs Jake Paul this weekend with a very personal feud between Josh Warrington and Mauricio Lara taking another twist.
Fury criticism unfair
Jake Paul and Tommy Fury finally go at it on Sunday after years of build-up. A lot has been said about both fighters but I do think some of the criticism Tommy has got over the quality of his opponents has been unfair.
We have got to remember, he is still a novice. The only reason these guys get this criticism at this stage of their career is because they have got a good profile. I think it’s a situation a bit similar to mine. These early fights are televised and are there for everyone to see.
Usually, fights at this stage in someone’s career are on at 5 in the evening in empty stadiums before anyone has showed up. No one gets to see it. So you don’t get the same level of scrutiny. But with Tommy, he is there for the world to see and has been since he came back from Love Island and first stepped back into that ring.
I think he has done a good job of learning his craft against these opponents. There is a way of doing things. People see the profile and expect him to go on and to do this and that. Promoters promote fighters and they make us out to be the best thing since sliced bread, that is their job. But really and truly, we are all just improving fighters still learning the trade.
It is the nature of the beast. No one is doing anything different to what the biggest names in the sport once did once upon a time. And those guys wouldn’t have been getting the social media coverage or even the television coverage that so many lads get now.
If you have a good profile coming into the pros now, you are being broadcasted straight away. When you weigh it up, is it worth taking the criticism to have that big profile? I think so. I don’t mind it, it just one of those things in the sport.
Ranking means nothing but Froch means business
If Paul gets the win, the WBC have confirmed he will earn a ranking spot in their cruiserweight division. Of course he’s getting a bit of a favour here. If he was getting in the top 10 or 15, I would be fuming. But top 40, that is a different story.
I don’t mean to be disrespectful but you are not really relevant unless you are top 15 in the eyes of the sport. So it’s more smoke and mirrors really, it adds a bit more hype to the fight without really meaning too much in the grand scheme of things.
I’m invested in the fight at this stage and I have been packing Paul to win all along, I think he makes it so awkward for Tommy, very difficult to read. But I would like Tommy Fury to do a job on him, for the sake of boxing.
It looks like Carl Froch is leaning that way too and fancies teaching Paul a lesson. And if the money is right, of course he will be tempted.
This is still a prize fighting business and for me, there’s not many fighters who would not be interested in that. I think Carl would do it and he would take pleasure in doing it too, he wants to make a stand for boxing and he is one of the old school thinking these YouTubers cannot come in here and disrespect the fighters. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do it.
Warrington vs Lara III beyond personal
I was blown away by Mauricio Lara vs Leigh Wood at the weekend. The styles just gelled. Leigh Wood was doing very well, I thought it was developing into a Joe Calzaghe vs. Jeff Lacy type of fight. But when you’re fighting a big puncher like Lara, the danger is always there.
Wood caught that left hook a few times on the gloves and the one time his hand was out of position, bang, the fight was over. I thought it was the right decision for the towel to get thrown in when it did. Ben Davison looked at who he [Wood] was fighting, that next punch could have been a disaster. But Leigh did himself proud.
The featherweight division is a very good one at the moment. Lara is just a bit of a boogeymen at the minute, he is destroying the English fighters. But someone will get to grips with him eventually. Wood was doing it extremely well, he was accurate he was just unfortunate to get caught with that massive shot.
Lara and Josh Warrington is getting very, very personal. But you like to see that in some fights. Sometimes you can do without all the handshakes and niceness before it, sometimes you don’t mind it but I like the spice between two fighters, you know you are in for a real fight then.
If they do end up having the trilogy, I think Warrington will have to go in using his brain a lot more than his heart because we have seen what a fantastic puncher Lara is. You cannot take risks with this guy because he will put your lights out. Warrington has a lot of advantages himself but he will have to really tighten up those defensives and get the game plan bang on.
Rydell Booker fight in March
This is the first one I can really be up for, it is not going to be a one-way street. I know there will be lots coming back with Rydell in the ring and if I make a mistake, he will punish me.
He’s an experienced cat and he has been through some big ups and down in his life so I’m expecting a real tough fight, but also one I can learn from and one where I can show all the work that is being done in the gym.
I watching his old fight with James Toney who was one of my heroes recently. He has a wealth of experience and no one has an easy night against him and I’m not expecting one either. I need to be the best version of me in order to show everyone where I’m at.
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