Frazer Clarke has signed with BOXXER, Sky Sports’ in-house promoter, and is promising a destructive route to the top of the heavyweight division.
Clarke, 30, who won a super-heavyweight bronze medal at the Olympics in Tokyo in August, is the first of Great Britain’s six boxing medallist to sign a professional deal.
He looks likely to make his professional debut on the Amir Khan-Kell Brook undercard in Manchester on February 19 and has agreed a three-year deal.
“It’s a huge day for me, it has been a long time coming,” Clarke said. “Since the Olympics I have had a great time and the next step on my journey was to turn professional and I think I have chosen the best outfit in BOXXER and Sky Sports to guide me back to the pinnacle, where I was as an amateur.
“I want to get to world titles and everything in between, have a fantastic journey and enjoy it along the way.”
He will be trained by Angel Fernandez at Loughborough University, alongside BOXXER’s cruiserweight hope Richard Riakporhe.
“For me it is about doing the job correctly,” Clarke said. “I might be 30 but I still feel fresh. I’m ready to make a statement.
“My style is calculated aggression. I need to learn the tricks of the trade as a pro. I am coming to take people out, anything past round one is too much. I am going to go in there to try and excite. But at the same time I will use my brain, use the experience I have got. I have always been in exciting fights as an amateur and I expect the same as a pro. You just need to look at my four fights with Joe Joyce, they were fight of the year contenders every time.”
Joyce won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, while Anthony Joshua claimed gold in London in 2012. Clarke sparred with both in the lead up to their own Olympic campaigns during his long time on the Team GB squad but he could see the day when they meet in the professional ring.
“They are both people who I’d like to call friends but all three of us are competitors, we like being the best and I am no different to anyone else,” Clarke said. “They are a huge mile in front of me at the minute. I am going to try to close the gap but I have got all the work to do yet.
“One day, if those opportunities are on the line, why not? In Britain we are blessed with such good heavyweights and the opportunity is there for some massive fights. I have got to put myself in the position and do all the work and we’ll see where it takes us.”
BOXXER are likely to be in the market to sign all of Britain’s six Olympic medallists, but Ben Shalom, the company’s CEO, said they would be pushing for a quick rise through the ranks with Clarke.
“Fraser doesn’t want to hang around and is ready to go,” Shalom said. “He is probably one of the most decorated heavyweight amateurs we have ever had. He will be starting in six-rounders and eight-rounders, but he will be headlining show very quickly.
“He wants the big fights. We think this is 12-18 months to get into contention for titles and we think he is going to be in world-title contention within this three-year deal.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.