When Frazer Clarke last boxed at the historic York Hall, he and his GB team-mates were recovering from a challenging experience. In 2017, they were boxing against Italia Thunder in the World Series of Boxing competition when something unimaginable happened.
The day before their match, they attended a charity event at the Houses of Parliament where they found themselves caught up in the Westminster terror attack. As they were leaving, an attacker repeatedly stabbed PC Keith Palmer before being shot dead right in front of them.
A Surreal Experience:
Surprisingly, despite this traumatic incident, the boxers still went ahead with their match against Italia Thunder which was held on April 30th- just one day after the attack. Looking back now, Frazer admits it was surreal as he wonders how he managed to box under such circumstances.
“It’s only when you get a little bit older and you look back…you think: ‘Oh my God! How did I manage to box the next day?'”
The Brave Decision Made by The Boxers:
Frazer recounted that all members of his team including Callum French and Pat McCormack who come from Birtley, which he described as the “hardest place in the world,” were asked whether they could go ahead with the match. The boxers’ hands went up without hesitation and this inspired Frazer to do likewise.
“Nothing was going to deter us. You’re youthful then.”
A Remarkable Olympic Cycle:
This WSB competition was just one of many instances that showed the character of Frazer’s team which culminated in them winning six medals at the Tokyo Games – a remarkable feat! Clarke became not only their captain but also an Olympic bronze medalist himself.
Frazer acknowledges that Callum French who didn’t make it to Tokyo after his weight class got removed still played a vital role during that period alongside other members such as Cyrus Pattinson.
“They played their part.”
The Transition from Amateur to Professional Boxing:
Frazer is now navigating through professional boxing having recently joined Matchroom Boxing where he will be returning for his seventh pro contest at York Hall on Friday night. As a young fighter, Frazer has faced some tough challenges including intense scrutiny when his team withdrew from bidding for a British title shot against Fabio Wardley due to lack of experience.
“I want to fight Fabio Wardley for the British championship, but I understand how important it is first to get more professional rounds under my belt.”
The harsh criticisms made him grittier and tougher as he learned from all experiences- both good and bad ones- throughout his career so far. He believes these have equipped him with resilience, making him capable of taking criticism constructively while striving to become better.
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