The Opening Round: Frazer Clarke v Mariusz Wach

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Frazer Clarke is set to follow the well-trodden path of boxing greatness on Friday night as the well-backed 1/20 betting favourite tops the bill at Bethnal Green’s iconic and fabled York Hall.

British heavyweight greats Lennox Lewis, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua all honed their craft within the confines of the historic East London venue en-route to establishing themselves as global superstars, and ‘Big Fraze’ is desperate to follow suit.

The 2020 Olympian undoubtedly has blue-riband division gold on his mind, but first and foremost he has to overcome, what is on paper, the most problematic opponent of his professional career to date.

The vastly experienced Mariusz Wach – a 10/1 shot and one of the true heavyweight gatekeepers – has vowed to drag Clarke into previously untrodden waters as the 43-year-old bids to derail the Burton fighter’s lofty heavyweight hopes, and ignite late life into his own industrious fighting career.

A former world title contender, the giant Pole is no stranger to the big occasion, having taken former unified champion Wladimir Klitschko the full distance a decade ago, as well as more recently hearing the final bell against the likes of Dillian Whyte and Hughie Fury.

For Clarke however, whilst he is far from underestimating the size of the challenge in front of him, he will be hell bent on dishing out his own form of punishment and serving a timely reminder to any of those doubting his courage or credentials.

The hard-hitting Olympic Bronze medallist cut a lean and mean figure at Thursday’s press conference, and even suggested that Friday night could be the occasion that ‘Mr Nice Guy’ turns BAD!

If that does turn out to be the case, then it could prove ominous for Wach, who, at the twilight of his career, could feel the full force of one of British boxing’s hottest properties and somebody who has already made light work of both Kevin Espindola and Bogdan Dinu this calendar year.

“It’s worth noting that Wach has only ever been stopped inside 10 rounds on three occasions in 46 career fights, so I do expect this one to go the full distance,” bet365’s resident boxing tipster Rob Tebbutt told the Sports & Betting News site.

“However, if you are one of those backing Clarke to get the stoppage that he craves, then I’d be looking at that to occur late on, during the second half of the fight; somewhere between rounds six and 10.

“Wach is, of course, very tough, very skilled and very proven, but if Clarke is to grind him down and send him to the canvas, then I think it will be in the second half of the fight.

“He’s shared the ring with some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division and because of that, my play for the headline bout on Friday night has got to be for ‘Big Fraze’ to extend his winning record by virtue of a decision, at 8/5.”

Watch the full BOXXER fightcard tipping video HERE.

bet365’s Boxing Compiler and trader Ian Vickers is of a similar opinion, although feels that given the bout will now be taking place over 10 rounds instead of the previously sanctioned eight, there could be real value found in backing the British hopeful to land a devastating knockout blow during the latter rounds.

“I think this will will be a decent test for ‘Big Fraze’, and we opened up at 4/9 for the British Olympian to win the fight by KO or TKO, and it’s been backed into 8/15, so there has been a bit of movement there,” he said.

“The biggest move has been on Clarke to win this one on points, with the price shortening from 9/4 to 8/5, which I can understand, because Wach is a tough, tough operator, who has plenty of experience and nous inside the ring.

“The fact that the fight has been extended to 10 rounds could be key though’ I’d be backing him to get Wach out there inside the distance, whereas had it stayed at eight rounds, then the smart money may have been on a decision victory!”

Read Ian Vickers’ Market Movers article, and gauge his extended thoughts ahead of Friday’s main event HERE.

bet365 are also offering Bet Boosts across all of Friday night’s action, meaning you can take advantage of even BIGGER prices on the headline bout and the full undercard, including a 5/1 shot on ‘Big Fraze’ getting that desired late stoppage in rounds eight, nine or 10.

You can also get BOOSTED odds of 11/4 for Caroline Dubois to maintain her charge towards a world title opportunity with a stoppage victory over Yanina del Carmen Lescano between rounds one and six, whilst our official partners are now 13/8 on ‘Sweet Caroline’ prevailing before the final bell at any time.

View the latest Bet Boosts and odds for the full BOXXER card and all other upcoming boxing at bet365

Bet Boosts and odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time. 

By Mark Mothershaw

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