English title could be next for Wardley after he dismantles Lewandowski
PUBLISHED: 12:36 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:16 13 May 2019
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Ipswich heavyweight Fabio Wardley underlined his credentials as one of the hottest prospects in the division again last week - and now he has the English title in his sights.
The heavy-handed Wardley became the first man to stop Dennis Lewandowski at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, picking the German apart before bringing matters to a violent conclusion in the third round, dropping his man twice.
It was a big feather in the ex-Chantry High School pupil's cap - Lewandowski came in with solid credentials, a 13-3 record and the confidence of having gone the distance with Tom Schwarz, Tyson Fury's next opponent.
He also outweighed Wardley significantly, tipping the scales at just over 25 stone compared to the Ipswich man's 16.5 stone. But Wardley simply busted him up and broke him down.
"Overall I was very happy with it," the 24-year-old, who is now 7-0 with six straight knockouts, said: "I did exactly what I wanted to do - I got a few rounds in and showed I have a bit more than just overwhelming and blitzing people.
"I showed I could jab, box, pick gaps in a defence and go through the gears. He wasn't particularly offensive, which makes it difficult. With my style I like somebody who comes at me so he posed a different problem and it was good in terms of learning.
"Him having a big size advantage is not something I pay much attention to - being massive doesn't benefit you against me, because I'm not going to let you lean on me and bully me.
"And getting the stoppage, the first time he'd been stopped, was a good little tick - that's always the aim going into a fight, but this one was about showing a bit more too."
After the fight, super promoter Eddie Hearn suggested that Wardley is the dark horse in the currently thriving British heavyweight division - but the Ipswich stylist sees things a slightly different way.
"To everyone else I look like the dark horse, but I've been mixing it and sparring with these guys, so I know I'm on par with them," he said.
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"There's a bit of an experience gap but I'm right behind them, if not up next to them."
And Wardley could well prove that in his next fight - which may now be for the English title, on the undercard of his manager Dillian Whyte's clash with Oscar Rivas at the O2 on July 20.
He explained: "It's looking more and more like we might go past a Southern Area title and go straight for the English title.
"There will definitely be a belt in the next few months, I just don't know which one yet!"
One of the names being mooted for Wardley's next opponent is Tom Little, an experienced fighter who's mixed it with both rising star Daniel DuBois and Olympian David Price in his last two fights.
"Tom's a name that's been suggested," Wardley confirmed. "My team say it would be a good and interesting fight. Tom's the first guy I sparred with when I turned pro and he's a good friend, so it would have to make a lot of sense on both parts for it to happen."
What is happening is the aforementioned DuBois fighting fellow prospect Nathan Gorman for the British title on July 13, a fight which Wardley will be watching closely.
He's sparred with DuBois and may be doing the same with Gorman ahead of the fight, which is one of the biggest domestic heavyweight clashes in recent years.
"I'll be watching it as a boxing fan," Wardley said. "It's something that people have wanted to see for a long time.
"It will be interesting to see how the fight turns out as that will be a big shaper of how the division pans out.
"They both have the opportunity to cause problems for each other - Daniel's a good boxer and a big puncher, while if Nathan does what he can, he could outbox Daniel.
"I'd probably go with Nathan to win if I had to pick, but that's more because I prefer his style - it's a 50-50 fight."