Frazer Clarke visits Vapouround HQ with good news and a gold medal to prove it.
By Leo Forfar
“I’ve done it. I’ve made everyone proud – the coach, the country, my sponsors. But it’s a stepping stone, I’m nowhere near where I want to be.”
In our last issue, we broke the thrilling news that our magazine, along with Lik Juice, would be sponsoring super heavyweight amateur boxing star Frazer Clarke as he chased glory in the Commonwealth Games. Frazer came back to the UK proudly wearing a gleaming gold medal and bearing some well-deserved respect and recognition. In the middle of a tour which saw other media appearances and some inspiring school speeches about the power of sport to make positive change in young peoples’ lives, Frazer came into our offices to meet with Vapouround staff and discuss his future plans.
“When I was first looking for sponsorship, I could have approached massive companies in my hometown, Burton-Upon-Trent – companies like Coors, Pirelli and Marmite. But I didn’t want to strike a deal with someone I was never going to be in contact with, someone impersonal. I was looking for a brand, a group, an organisation who are inspired and hungry. This is why I have such massive respect for you guys for helping me. Coming in here today, there’s so much going on. It reminds me of my life and career; always on the go and driven to succeed.”
Frazer outpointed India’s Satish Kumar over three tough rounds before a raucous crowd on the Gold Coast. He overcame exhaustion from a busy training and tournament schedule: only the day before, Frazer defeated New Zealander Patrick Mailata, another friend and training buddy.
“That’s why I got into boxing, for that rush when the winner is announced when you hear ‘In the blue corner…’ you forget all your troubles and pain. It’s ten seconds but it feels like ten minutes.”
Frazer’s star has risen high. Though there was a time he would only get a media mention alongside AJ, he is firmly established as an individual force to be reckoned with in the British boxing world.
“Publicity-wise, working with AJ has done so much for me. But I’m nobody’s mere ‘sparring partner’ – I’m a fighter; my job is to represent my country. Working with him helps me physically and mentally, it motivates me.”
Like all athletes, Frazer sees an accomplishment as not an ending, but a terminus to better things. It’s never over until you’ve done all you can.
“Yeah, I’ve done it. I’ve made everyone proud – the coach, the country, my sponsors. But it’s a stepping stone, I’m nowhere near where I want to be.”
“The first thing we [the training camp in Sheffield] will do is analyse all three fights – what I did well, not so well and where I can improve. We’ve got video analysts, psychologists. We’ll improve on everything. I don’t just want to win, I want to win convincingly, to look good when I do it. Looking back at the footage, I did enough to win, but I’m not one to just get by. I’m going to be a different animal from the one you saw on the Gold Coast.”
Frazer will work on weight and conditioning, improving his stamina and cardiovascular health for the next Olympic games.
“I’ll travel to Tokyo two or three kilos lighter. Everyone puts on weight at a multi-sporting event games like the Commonwealth Games or Olympics. I won’t get sluggish.”
His life’s purpose may lie in the ring, but Frazer’s philanthropic goals are still on his mind. He already has future Olympian etched on his name and realises the effect he has on the young, especially from his hometown.
“I was speaking to some guys from my year. There weren’t too many talks in assemblies from guest speakers when we were at school. Doing it myself, I had hundreds of messages from kids thanking me, assuring me they’ll knuckle down and work hard. One kid told me he had low self-esteem. I looked at his Instagram and he was a super talented artist! I want to act more like a role model.”
All eyes and minds are on Tokyo. Vapouround know how to pick the winners, and our bet is on Frazer Clarke to continue carrying the torch and raising the standard.