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Fabio Wardley claims it is HIS decision whether he faces Frazer Clarke in a rematch… as Ipswich heavyweight admits 'I've knocked a few years off my life' following brutal title fight

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  • Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke faced off in a heavyweight title fight on Sunday
  • After a bruising 12 rounds of action at the O2, the rivals couldn’t be separated 
  • Clarke called on Wardley for a rematch in the immediate aftermath of their bout

Fabio Wardley has insisted he holds the power over whether he faces Frazer Clarke in a rematch.

The two British heavyweights faced off on Easter Sunday in one of the best British title fights of recent times, with both exchanging several blows throughout a compelling 12 rounds at the 02.

However, the bruising bout was declared a split-decision draw, meaning Wardley retained his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles.

In the aftermath, Clarke immediately called for a rematch, but Wardley was non-committal and claimed he was keeping his options open. 

‘It (a rematch) doesn’t have to be immediate,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘It doesn’t have to be at all, necessarily. 

Fabio Wardley has said he holds the power over whether he faces Frazer Clarke in a rematch

Fabio Wardley has said he holds the power over whether he faces Frazer Clarke in a rematch

The two rivals faced off in a bruising encounter, with the bout declared a split-decision draw

The two rivals faced off in a bruising encounter, with the bout declared a split-decision draw

The draw meant Wardley, 29, retained his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles

The draw meant Wardley, 29, retained his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles

‘I still have my belts. I still move forward. Again the ball’s still in my court. It’s still my decision.

‘We’ll look at the options. It was a good fight. I don’t know if I can do too many of those in my career, take off too much, put my family and friends through too much panic.

‘We’ll look at things. We’ll have a chat with the team, we’ll reassess. There are some things on my end I need to sort first and then we’ll go again.’

During the brutal bout, Wardley suffered a huge gash to his nose and was left spitting blood, while Clarke was dropped to the floor in the fifth round.

However, both fighters battled on with the judges unable to split them after scores of 114-113 112-115 113-113. 

And Wardley – who hinted a potential rematch could take place at Portman Road, the home of his beloved Ipswich Town – went onto reflect on the brutality of the fight on Sunday.

Wardley added: ‘I am immensely proud. This was my 18th fight so I am still fresh and learning.

‘But to put on a fight like that and provide the entertainment for the fans and give the belt the respect it deserves makes me immensely proud.

‘My time for a fight like that was always going to come but I don’t want to be in too many more of them.

During the brutal bout, Wardley suffered a huge gash to his nose and was left spitting blood

During the brutal bout, Wardley suffered a huge gash to his nose and was left spitting blood

The Ipswich born heavyweight admitted he had 'probably knocked a few years off' his life

The Ipswich born heavyweight admitted he had ‘probably knocked a few years off’ his life

‘I have probably knocked a few years off of my life with that, but it’s all in the name of good fun.’

He continued: ‘I was worried about my mum. Because I knew she would not enjoy watching it. 

‘My nose has seen better days. It was more of an annoyance because I had blood getting in my mouth and eyes.

‘But in the middle of a firefight like that you are not going, “Ouch, that punch hurt”. I was just trying to crack on and get the job done.’