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‘I passed that test pretty easily’ - Wardley wipes out Lartey in biggest win of career so far

PUBLISHED: 12:06 22 November 2020 | UPDATED: 12:18 22 November 2020

Suffolk's Fabio Wardley celebrates his second round KO of Richard Lartey at Wembley Arena. Picture: DAVE THOMPSON

Suffolk's Fabio Wardley celebrates his second round KO of Richard Lartey at Wembley Arena. Picture: DAVE THOMPSON

©Dave Thompson/Route One Photography Ltd

Suffolk’s Fabio Wardley scored the biggest win of his career last night as he wiped out veteran danger man Richard Lartey in the second round of their clash at Wembley Arena.

Fabio Wardley lands the huge right hand knockout shot on Richard Lartey Picture: DAVE THOMPSONFabio Wardley lands the huge right hand knockout shot on Richard Lartey Picture: DAVE THOMPSON

Former Chantry High School pupil Wardley, now 10-0 (9KO), took on the toughest test of his career in Ghanian Lartey (now 14-4 11KO), but flattened him with a huge left hook/right hook salvo in the second round, leaving him senseless on the floor and requiring oxygen.

MORE: ‘I’m doing this for Ipswich’ - English champion Wardley hoping to inspire Suffolk as he faces big puncher Lartey

Wardley, the English heavyweight champion, took a cagey first round behind his jab, but then exploded in the second, detonating a nuclear left/right combination on his experienced foe.

It is a statement win for the Ipswich man, with Lartey having rocked British super prospect Daniel DuBois in a four round war, before extending the highly-rated Nathan Gorman the full distance in a points defeat, over his last two fights.

Wardley, who wore the blue and white of Ipswich Town into the ring, has put himself right into the mix for a British title tilt in 2021 - with unbeaten pair DuBois and Joe Joyce meeting for the strap next Saturday.

The 25-year-old, a former Ipswich Town Academy player, has come from nowhere to make his mark on the boxing scene, turning pro with no amateur experience after just four white collar fights. Yet he cemented himself as one of the top heavyweights in the country with this showing.

Fabio Wardley turns away having decked Richard Lartey in the second round of their heavyweight scrap at Wembley Arena Picture: DAVE THOMPSONFabio Wardley turns away having decked Richard Lartey in the second round of their heavyweight scrap at Wembley Arena Picture: DAVE THOMPSON

MORE: ‘A great new contender on the British heavyweight scene’ - Promoter Hearn’s praise for new English champ Wardley

He said: “I’m really happy with the finish. I think that finish inparticular answered a few questions - if I have single punch power and if I can hang with the big boys, and I can.

“I saw him slightly wobble with a few jabs. I saw that if I kept poking the jab his hands would come together and leave a space around the side so I did that, stung a few in and got it in.

Suffolk's Fabio Wardley celebrates his win with head coach Rob Hodgins, right, and Matt Brennan. Picture: DAVE THOMPSONSuffolk's Fabio Wardley celebrates his win with head coach Rob Hodgins, right, and Matt Brennan. Picture: DAVE THOMPSON

“I’m moving at a good pace. Ten fights in now, decent opposition. Richard Lartey was a good test on a paper, with his record and everything he was a good challenge, but I passed that pretty easily.

“I don’t want to get too carried away. It was a great performance, but that doesn’t mean I’m here, there and everywhere else. I still need to build, there’s still things I need to learn - I haven’t got into the second half of a fight, I haven’t got into a bit of a war. I took a few shots in there, but nothing too troublesome.

“There’s still a few boxes to tick off before we really step up, but I’m moving at a nice speedy pace that me and the team are happy with.”

All of the lights - Fabio Wardley ahead of his win over Richard Lartey at the Wembley Arena Picture: MARK ROBINSONAll of the lights - Fabio Wardley ahead of his win over Richard Lartey at the Wembley Arena Picture: MARK ROBINSON

He added: “Of course I want to fight for the British title - it’s such a prestigious and important belt to hold. I’ve got the English title, which I’m more than happy with, but it’s about progression and moving on to different things, bigger belts and bigger fights and that’s what we’re aiming for.”

MORE: ‘I would love to fight at Portman Road one day’ - Ipswich heavyweight Wardley reveals Town target ahead of latest O2 clash

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “I though Fabio handled business so well – the jab was beautiful, it set him up so well, and then a great right hand around the side of the head to finish it. I think he’s moving at a great pace and that British title is going to free up and I think he should be fighting for that - probably one more fight, he’ll box on the Whyte-Povetkin card on January 30, so he’s keeping nice and busy.

Fabio Wardley has his hand raised after stopping Richard Lartey in two rounds at the Wembley Arena Picture: DAVE THOMPSONFabio Wardley has his hand raised after stopping Richard Lartey in two rounds at the Wembley Arena Picture: DAVE THOMPSON

“And then whoever the board puts forward for the British title will be Fabio Wardley. He’s a great young heavyweight from East Anglia – there’s not many coming out of that region.

“He’s young, he’s exciting and he punches very hard.”

Fabio Wardley on the attack against Richard Lartey Picture: DAVE THOMPSONFabio Wardley on the attack against Richard Lartey Picture: DAVE THOMPSON

Ipswich heavyweight Fabio Wardley walks out to face Richard Lartey at the Wenbley Arena Picture: MARK ROBINSONIpswich heavyweight Fabio Wardley walks out to face Richard Lartey at the Wenbley Arena Picture: MARK ROBINSON

Suffolk's Fabio Wardley has his gloves tied on before his fight with Richard Lartey Picture: MARK ROBINSONSuffolk's Fabio Wardley has his gloves tied on before his fight with Richard Lartey Picture: MARK ROBINSON


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