FRAZER CLARKE is perfectly placed to follow the footsteps of Anthony Joshua. Frazer, now GB’s leading super-heavyweight is building up to the Olympic Games himself in two years’ time and is currently in Australia ready to compete in the Commonwealth Games.
“It’s not even long now till the Olympics, it’ll fly by. I’ve been in the cycle before. Those last two years go really quick,” Clarke told Boxing News. “I want to win everything I go into especially the Commonwealth Games because it’s good publicity for me. Puts me all over the TV.”
Clarke couldn’t have better preparation. He’s been the key sparring partner for unified IBF and WBA heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua. “I’ve had some real good sparring since Christmas. That’s when I started sparring again. I’ve had no easy sparring at all. I went to America and sparred in America when I was unfit, really tough. Those kind of spars they proper get you in good stead. I’ve had the full Joshua camp, that’s been great. Solomon [Dacres, new on GB] that’s a real good spar for me as well. It’s not been easy at all,” he said. “It’s perfect. You don’t box too many Anthony Joshuas on the way to a Commonwealth medal.”
By his calculations he’s done more than 60 rounds with Joshua ahead of his fight with WBO titlist Joseph Parker in Cardiff on Saturday (March 31). “I’ve been the main sparring partner, I’ve done more rounds than anyone,” Clarke said. “We’ve sparred each other that many years now, it’s competitive, it’s very competitive. It’s good-natured but it gets heated at times. Still very technical with everything else that comes with it. We push each other on. We speak to each other. I’m a big boxing enthusiast, Joshua’s at a great level. We just push each other on and help each other.”
He’s experienced first hand how the Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam have developed Anthony Joshua. “I’ve seen a big difference. He’s very dangerous, he can attack anyone and it becomes a problem. Defensively I think he’s tightened up a bit, mentally I think he’s a lot better now than he ever has been,” Clarke said. “Joshua’s maturity will come into it and that fight against Klitschko taught him so much and the Takam fight as well, it taught him so much more about how to be a good fighter. He’s such a better fighter than he’s been given credit for. He gets a lot of credit but people think he’s just a knockout artist. But he’s actually a clever, intelligent boxer that’s always learning. I think you’ll see from this performance that he’s better now than he has been in any of his other fights.”
Clarke has learned himself from being in camp with Joshua. “It’s a very simple lifestyle that he lives. For the heavyweight champion of the world, with the world at his feet, it’s the gym, then back home, it’s relaxing, eating good food, being round good people, plenty of rest. I learn a lot from him, not on the boxing side, on the lifestyle side of things,” Frazer said.
He has a warning for his potential rivals at Gold Coast 2018. “I’ve been a late developer in terms of power. I never really saw myself as a power puncher,” he said. “Planting the feet a bit more instead of bouncing around it’s proper helped me.”