Olympian and ex-security guard Frazer Clarke on other side of ropes for Khan vs Brook

Frazer Clarke has lost count of the number of times he worked as a security guard at Kell Brook’s fight nights in Sheffield – but the gap between the pair is closing.

Saturday, 19th February 2022, 5:33 pm

Tokyo bronze medallist Clarke, who was based at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EIS) during the 12 years he spent on the Team GB squad, will make his professional debut on the undercard of Brook’s fight against Amir Khan on Saturday.

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The popular 30-year-old heavyweight joked it would be nice to be on the other side of the ropes at an arena show.

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: Frazer Clarke trains during a BOXXER Media work out at The Trafford Centre on February 16, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

"There’s the pressure of the Olympic background and medal but I’m not naive enough to think that makes you a good pro,” he said.

"I have got to change, I have got to adapt, I needed to improve.”

Clarke left his long-term training base in the Steel City after Tokyo – “I needed a little freshen up” – and is now based at Loughborough University under the tutelage of head trainer Angel Fernandez.

His memories of Sheffield are fond, but he doesn’t miss the nights spent at his former base in Darnall, which was repeatedly targeted by burglars intent on stealing his television.

On the EIS, a world-class training facility, dad-of-two Clarke said: “It’s a great environment full of people that are all enthralled and focused with one ultimate goal – to become Olympic champion.

"Everyone has the same mentality and they become like family over time.”

The six medals won by Team GB boxers at Tokyo 2020 represented the best performance at an Olympic Games in 101 years, with the EIS, which has also produced global superstars like Anthony Joshua – a friend of Clarke’s who was also previously based in Sheffield – subsequently labelled a ‘medal factory’.

Clarke hopes to fight five times in 2022 and while insisting he will not rush his career in the paid ranks, despite his advancing years in relative terms, wants to emulate the likes of former undisputed world champion Joshua.

“Becoming world champion, that’s the ultimate goal,” he said.

"I one-hundred per cent believe in myself.”

His ambition is shared by Sky Sports Boxing promoter Ben Shalom.

"Every promoter wanted him,” he claimed.

"We genuinely believe we are looking at the future of the heavyweight division.”