Super heavyweight Clarke bidding to make newborn son proud ahead of crucial Tokyo qualifier

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Burton bruiser Clarke, 29, soared to Commonwealth Games nirvana in the Gold Coast three years ago
Burton bruiser Clarke, 29, soared to Commonwealth Games nirvana in the Gold Coast three years ago

New father Frazer Clarke reckons the birth of his first son last week is intensifying his hunger for a long-awaited Olympic debut, writes Will Jennings.

But the bruising Burton boxer insists the hectic events of the last seven days have had no impact on his preparation for his crucial upcoming European Olympic qualifier.

Super heavyweight Clarke, 29, has been constantly trekking up and down the M1 after his partner, Danni, gave birth to his second child Trent last week.

Clarke has been juggling those life-changing commitments with training for next week’s Olympic qualifying event in Paris, where he will face Croat Marko Milun in a key bout to book his place in Tokyo.

The 2018 Commonwealth champion says the arrival of Trent has got him hungrier than ever but insists it’s not been to the detriment of his preparation with a shot at Japan looming.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Sheffield-based Clarke, one of over 1,000 National Lottery-funded elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, said: “Honest to god, not that I needed motivating any more, but he’s definitely been a lift.

“It’s been an emotional week with the birth of my son – we’re literally getting down to the business end [of qualification] now. He’s really motivated me.

“It was one of the best moments of my life. Him and my little daughter Mila – their presence and them being around is willing me on so much.

“I was motivated anyway, but there’s nothing like having your first son as a little boost. He’s been amazing.

“The coaches here, they’re not just coaches, they’re great humans and great people and they understand how important it was for me to be there for the birth of my son.

“I took all the safety precautions possible. I was PPE’d up to death in that hospital – I left at half three in the morning, got home at half four, he was born, I stayed with him that day and that night then the next morning I was back in Sheffield joining in with the guys.

“I caught up with any of the training I missed – the guys are really good. They’re understanding, they’re great people – and a lot of them are family men themselves.

“They managed to be dead sympathetic. I’ve not missed anything and it’s been brilliant.”

Clarke’s quest for the Games is powered by UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme that allows him to train full-time, access the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

He soared to Commonwealth glory in the Gold Coast and is a 2017 European Games silver medallist – but remains yet to scale the dizzy Olympic heights.

The Midlands ace has been around the boxing block throughout the last decade but knows success in Paris will cap the highlight of a turbulent career.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

He’d relish the prospect of an Olympic debut but admits given current restrictions, he’d be forced to go it alone.

Clarke, who will be looking to add to the 864 Olympic and Paralympic medals won by Great Britain and Northern Ireland athletes since the advent of National Lottery funding in 1997 in Japan, added: “When I qualify, [Danni, Trent and Mila] are not going to come with me.

“For me, this coronavirus thing is not quite over yet, and their safety is more important.

“They can watch me from a TV screen and the once that’s over, daddy can spend some good time with his kids and his family because it’s been a long hard road.

“I’m not going to jeopardise them by making them travel to the other side of the world. I’m not sure how it’s going to be there myself yet, so they can watch daddy from the TV screen for now.”

No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than National Lottery players, who raise around £30 million each week for good causes. Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has on sport at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtags: #TNLAthletes #TracktoTokyo