BRITISH and Commonwealth champion Lennox Clarke admits that he understands why world champions are “hiding” from fellow Super-Middleweight Zach Parker.
Clarke, 29, stunned hot prospect Willy Hutchinson in March, knocking out his Scottish rival in five exciting rounds in a huge upset to become a double champion.
He credits sparring hundreds of rounds with Frank Warren stablemate Parker, the number one contender for Billy Joe Saunders WBO World Super-Middleweight title for part of his success.
“If I was a World champion I would carry on hiding from Zach Parker,” declared Clarke who hopes to make the first defence of his shiny new belts in June.
During Clarke’s professional career that spans more than seven years he has also sparred with Kell Brook, Saunders, Callum Smith and another Warren promoted fighter Liam Williams,
Halesowen’s Clarke added: “I have sparred with Zach the most. We bang the hell out of each other and we’re both friends, but I would put Zach on top of all them kids. That is me being honest."
“We have real wars and when we stop everyone in the gym is clapping.
“Liam Williams and myself have sparred loads of rounds and he is a really good aggressive kid.
“All the spars I have are competitive, but Zach deserves the praise the most. He is the man right now.”
Training alongside Parker at the BCB Gym in Wednesbury has also given former white collar boxer Clarke the belief he can reach for the stars and get to world level.
Clarke said: “I’m a white collar kid and I’ve already over-achieved, but I’m hungry and happy for the opportunities Frank will get for me.
“Hopefully my rawness can take me further. I won a IBO Intercontinental title against Jahmaine Smyle and I wasn’t happy with that. I never paraded it.
“Nathan Heaney has now got the same belt and parades it around like he’s a World champion.
“That was nothing for me. The British title is something for me, but I have not plateaued. I am hungry and my mentality is that no one can beat me.”