Debutant Watch - Fabio Wardley
Danny Wayne Armstrong
Debutant Watch returns for its first instalment of 2017 as Danny Wayne Armstrong talks to a former white-collar fighter looking to make his mark on the paid ranks after a stifled beginning in the pros. He makes his belated debut at The Halls, Norwich, this Friday.
Name: Fabio Wardley
Hometown: Ipswich, Suffolk
Height: 6ft 5ins
Trainer: Neil Hodgins
Gym: Suffolk Punch Boxing Club, Ipswich
Twitter: @fabstarrr Tickets: 07951021813/ 07964991762
BM: How has training and sparring been going for you?
FW: My training camp has been great, as I’m only now starting out I’m having to juggle working full-time as well as training twice a day. But me and my team have found a way to make it all work and fit everything in. The sparring has been tough but great at the same time, I’ve been lucky to regularly spar with former prize fighter winner and Commonwealth title winner, Sam Sexton from the Kickstop gym in Norwich; Nick Webb, the up and coming 8-0 prospect from Brighton; and some other good heavyweights.
BM: Who is your boxing hero and why?
FW: I’d have to say that my all time boxing hero is Roy Jones Jr, one of the pound-for-pound best boxers to ever step into the ring. Having such quick hands as well as power and a flashy style which entertains the crowd is something I want to emulate.
BM: The heavyweight scene in Britain is the best it has ever been, we have world champions and great characters at domestic level, what do you think you can bring to the mix?
FW: I bring a lot of speed and movement, whereas your typical heavyweight is usually renowned for being slow and sluggish, I like to move around the ring, get in and out.
BM: Is there anyone you think you could beat already?
FW: You never know until you’re in the ring with someone, but there’s no one out there that I would be scared to fight. I’d quick happily jump in the ring with any of the heavyweights on the scene at the moment. In this game you have to be confident in your own abilities and as long as I trained hard and put in the work, I’d have as much chance as anyone.
BM: What is your best attribute as a boxer?
FW: I’d say my best attributes are my speed and movement, hitting and not getting hit is the aim of the game for me.
BM: You have a white-collar background. What did you learn from those fights and do you think this puts you at an advantage or a disadvantage?
FW: I learnt a lot from my white collar fights, they’re only two-minute rounds which means they are very fast paced straight off the bat. As well as the rings usually being quite small (especially when you have two heavyweights in there) which puts a real emphasis on movement and making sure you stay off the ropes.
BM: Apart from the exploits of Anthony Ogogo, there isn’t a huge boxing scene in Suffolk, do you think you can put Suffolk back on the boxing map?
FW: That’s the plan, at the moment I’m the only active professional boxer from Ipswich so this is my opportunity to get the region behind me and make some noise!
BM: How far do you see yourself going in the sport?
FW: I’m confident I can get to the top, right now I’m loving what I do. And live for the sport, its just eat, sleep, train repeat for me and I’m enjoying every minute of it. The biggest thing for me is patience, I’m young and I’m in no rush. Coming from a white-collar background I need to give myself time to mature as a fighter and take it all step by step.
BM: Your first few attempts at your debut were all postponed last year, how did you deal with it?
FW: My professional debut was postponed in August due to an opponent's injury and then again in September 2016. The third time, in November, it was cancelled because the venue wasn’t approved to host the show. It’s a killer every time, but I just carried on and was patient. I said to myself: it'll come when it’s supposed to come.
BM: What can we expect from your debut this Friday?
FW: This Friday is my first outing and my opportunity to make a statement, and that is exactly what I’m going to do. Just from my white-collar fights I’ve got a great support who make a lot of noise. It’s going to be a great night!