British champion Lennox Clarke targets European challenge
Hard-hitting British super-middleweight champion Lennox Clarke has his sights set on European honours this summer.
The 29-year-old picked up the British and Commonwealth straps with his demolition of Willy Hutchinson at the Copper Box in March.
Ruthless Clarke, from Halesowen in the West Midlands, blasted out the Scot in round five to bag the biggest win of his career.
With that dream realised, the Black Country boxer isn’t waiting around. He wants big fights with big names in his division sooner rather than later.
He’d love a second crack at current EBU European champ Lerrone Richards but believes his former opponent will continue to avoid him for as long as possible after a narrow, split decision win back in 2019.
Instead, Clarke now wants a clash with unbeaten WBO and IBF European boss Aslambek Idigov.
The unbeaten 25-year-old Russian is ranked in the top 20 at world level and is the sort of opponent Clarke would love to battle as he continues his remarkable rise.
“If I was him (Richards), I’d avoid me as well. He knows that I’d knock him out now I’m fully fit and have both arms working.
“I’d love the fight so I could put that defeat right, but I’m not waiting around for him because I’ve got my own ambitions.
“I’m only focusing on myself and positioning myself for big fights. If that means Lerrone Richards in the future, then I’ll put that right when it’s not possible for him to avoid me any longer.
“I’d wait around at British level for a while if I was two or three years younger, but now I just want to forge ahead with some really big fights at European level.
“I’d love the Idigov fight. It would be a massive fight and a massive opportunity for me.
“My team will talk and try and make it happen if it’s possible. I want to be back out in August and pushing for a European title. That’s my goal.”
Clarke has enjoyed sparring with the WBO’s number one-ranked super-middleweight Zach Parker as well as middleweight Tyler Denny, who recently beat Derrick Osaze. Both men, like Clarke, are looked after by Errol Johnson’s thriving BCB Promotions outfit.
“Those sparring sessions have really set me up well. We help each other when we can and having that standard in the same stable can only benefit you.”
Clarke, who started in white-collar boxing before patiently learning his trade on the small hall scene, is now revelling in the added belief gained by lifting the Lonsdale belt aloft after the Hutchinson upset.
Victory via stoppage for Clarke was priced at a huge 16/1 before that clash but will certainly be much shorter for future bouts, even for those using a bet365 bonus code.
“That win over Willy gave me even more confidence in my ability, but also made me feel vindicated as well,” added Clarke. “I’ve been telling people about my power, and I finally got the chance to show it.
“It was a great night, and it was exciting to be part of it. I told everyone what would happen, and then I proved it.
“But that was against a hype job. Now I want to prove it again but against a really tough fighter who has a good reputation for a reason.
“Those small hall shows have meant I’ve learned a lot. I’ve fought some tough journeymen, and while they might not have big names and big records, they certainly know the game and give you tough rounds.
“That has stood me in good stead and those smaller hall shows have been the making of me as well. But now it’s my time to strike ahead, to get those big fights and look for more titles and build on this opportunity.”