CASH OR GLORY
British hope Frazer’s dilemma over going pro or chasing Olympic gold
FRAZER CLARKE says the postponement of the Olympic Games has left him wrestling with whether he should stay patient – or join boxing’s paid ranks.
Two years on from Commonwealth glory, Clarke planned to emulate Anthony Joshua by striking super heavyweight gold at the Tokyo Games.
Instead, the Olympic qualifier in London was called off and a week later the Games were put back a year.
That left Clarke with a tough decision to make given that he will be 30 by the time the rescheduled +91kg final takes place in Japan.
“I’d be lying if I said turning pro hadn’t crossed my mind,” said the man from Burton upon Trent. “Another year to wait is a long time when the nature of your sport is bruises, cuts and breaks.
“But ever since I watched Amir Khan win silver in Athens – this 17-year-old schooling blokes and coming home to manic scenes on the streets of Bolton – I’ve wanted a piece of that.”
Clarke was not thrown off his Olympic dream by the setbacks of losing out on selection for London and Rio, to Joshua and Joe Joyce respectively. He also lost his world championship quarterfinal to Maksim Babanin of Russia last year on appeal after initially getting the verdict. He even overcame being stabbed in the neck on a night out. Seen in that light, he concludes that a 12-month delay when he and his family are healthy and safe in lockdown is not the end of the world. He could not have imagined spending 2020 “baking and singing songs at home” with his daughter.
“But I still give myself an hour or two each day for Rocky-style training,” he said. “I’m even thinking of getting a chicken to chase round the garden!
“I’ve set myself goals. You’ll know if I achieve them because, believe me, they aren’t little ones.”
Evander Holyfield has offered Mike Tyson a third fight for charity. Tyson wants to return to the ring at 53 in some exhibition bouts and Holyfield is willing to face him.
Holyfield, 57, stopped Tyson in 11 rounds in 1996 in their first meeting before Iron Mike was disqualified for biting his ear in the rematch a year later.