British boxers fight on 24 hours after witnessing stabbing of PC Keith Palmer during London attack

Telegraph Sport
Four boxers were attending an event at the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday when the attack took place - AFP or licensors

A British boxer who witnessed the stabbing of PC Keith Palmer has told how he wanted to continue with a planned fight to show that everyone should "get on with their lives" in the wake of the terror attack.

Super-heavyweight Frazer Clarke was one of four British boxers who saw the attack unfold after attending an event at the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday, but a little over 24 hours later he won a bout with Italian Guido Vianello at London's York Hall as part of the World Series of Boxing.

"It was the atmosphere: everyone's talking about it, I couldn't get away from it," the 25-year-old said.

"But I'm not the victim; I was able to box.

Westminster terror attack shooting in pictures

"If we can't get in there and fight after what we saw, how does everyone there get on with their lives? Police officers lost colleagues, families, friends. We were the lucky ones so we had every reason to get in there and put a show on.

"Everything's gone through my head. But someone was looking down on us; we didn't go out there (in time to be caught up in the attack)."

Clarke had been with fellow boxers Pat McCormack, Muhammad Ali and Calum French at the Houses of Parliament when the attack took place, and their coach Tony Davis helped those trying to save Palmer's life in the aftermath. 

Despite being troubled by the incident, the British Lionhearts fighters went ahead with their fixture against Italia Thunder on Thursday night, and impressively won 5-0 overall.

"I didn't really sleep much. My head was a bit all over and I couldn't really stop thinking about it" Credit: PA

 

Fellow Lionheart Radoslav Pantaleev of Bulgaria also fought and won, having likewise been in Westminster, where they had been joined by the Italians in attending an event to celebrate a year of the British Lionhearts in the Community.

Flyweight and 2016 Olympian Ali, 19, was the first to fight, doing so just 30 hours after Wednesday's events. He defeated Manuel Cappai and said: "All day, I couldn't get it out of my head because we saw everything."

Welterweight McCormack, 21, who overcame Vincenzo Mangiacapre, added: "It was horrible. We were right in front of it.

"I didn't really sleep much. My head was a bit all over and I couldn't really stop thinking about it.

"We had a meeting, a talk. The coaches handled it very well.

"As everyone was running away (Davis) was running to aid. He saw a lot more than us and was a bit shook up. I respect him very much for doing that."

French, also 21 and who won at lightweight against Michael Magnesi, said: "It was the most tragic thing I've ever seen."

Palmer had long been a Charlton season-ticket holder, and the League One club have laid a scarf on his seat at The Valley which will remain there until their next home fixture against MK Dons on April 4.

A statement released by Charlton read: "Keith was a familiar face at The Valley and sat in his same East Stand seat for many years.

"The club will discuss ways in which it can commemorate his life at the (MK Dons) game itself."

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