Boxing News: Frazer Clarke stunned Cuba’s top heavyweight with a shocking knockout to save Britain’s boxers’ honour

Boxing News
Source: Skysports

Boxing News: Frazer Clarke was greeted by bloodied faces as he exited the locker room after a severely one-sided tournament final against Cuba’s excellent amateur team.

In June 2016, the Cubans destroyed a tough British Lionhearts team that included this summer’s Olympic gold medalist Galal Yafai and current world champion Lawrence Okolie in the World Series of Boxing.

Clarke was surrounded by tense teammates as he finalised his preparations for a showdown with Olympic Youth Gold medalist Lenier Pero.

“I was poking around in the locker rooms.” Heads down, ice packs on heads, bust noses, and bust lips were all I could see.

“I was sitting there getting all wrapped up when I noticed that someone had been stopped, that someone had been stopped…”

As the British losing streak continued, Clarke realised he couldn’t afford to follow his beaten teammates into the ring.

“I had been sick all night the night before. I had eaten something sour and was debating whether or not to fight.

“‘Look, I’m sick!’ I said to my coaches.

“Then, when it got to 3-0, I thought to myself, “I should simply get out.”

“I might have stepped aside if one of our players had won and we only scored one win because I was suffering from an unsettled stomach.

“But as the score reached 9-0, my pride surfaced, and I felt compelled to act. Not just for myself, but for all of us as British fighters. For the sake of the group.”

Pero had already beaten over 100 amateur opponents, and Clarke would have been the latest addition to his long list of victories.

“‘Listen, just stay in the fight, don’t go crazy at the beginning,’ my coaches Tony Davis and Gary Hale would tell to me. He’s a clumsy southpaw who can be troublesome. You’ll be fine if you just stay in the fight.’

“I hit him with a straight right hand the round before and felt him straighten up a little.

“I returned to the corner and simply let go of my hands, sinking one into the body.

“I believe it was a right hook to the body, and all I did was catch him flush. I sucked the wind out of his sails.”

Clarke had handed Pero his first stoppage loss in his illustrious amateur career.

“For me, that was simply a proud moment. I recall the sensation.

“The entire Cuban team was sitting there, immobile, staring at me.” Our team was bouncing around with ice packs on their heads, arms in slings, and busted noses.

“I was ecstatic because I had won that one battle.” In the end, the score was 9-1. That was a unique experience for me.”

Clarke proved his worth as Team GB’s captain by winning a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Dainier, Pero’s younger brother, was representing Cuba in Japan at the time, and the two met but did not share the ring.

“At the Olympics, I saw his brother.” “I’m sure he was desperate to fight me,” Clarke remarked.

“In amateur boxing, I know everyone.” Everyone in every country, every squad, knew who I was. I smile and laugh with everyone, yet there were no smiles when I passed this person.

“He was aware of what I had done to his sibling.”

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