Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (October 25, 2023) - On the cusp of an explosive showdown, British heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley and his fierce adversary David Adeleye have set aside their heated red carpet altercation. The top heavyweight boxing clash, which erupted at the preview press conference for the much-anticipated bout, will take center stage in Saudi Arabia. As they prepare to meet in the more formal setting of the boxing ring, Wardley and Adeleye sat down with TNT Sports pundit Carl Frampton to share their thoughts on the upcoming face-off.
One thing Fabio Wardley and David Adeleye have both agreed on is the utter lack of respect between them as they prepare for their high-stakes duel in Saudi Arabia. Wardley will be defending his British heavyweight title and the vacant Commonwealth title will be on the line.
The red carpet brawl at the press conference previewing the blockbuster event, which is set to be live on TNT Sports on October 28, grabbed headlines and left fans eager to witness this grudge match in the ring.
Adeleye clarified that his issue was never with Wardley but with "Team Wardley." He explained, "My problem was never with Wardley. It was with his team." Claiming that members of Wardley's team were "moving a bit funny," Adeleye elaborated, "Wardley walked over, so I pushed him back. For me, it was just more about protecting myself first. Retaliate first, ask questions later."
Wardley offered his perspective, stating that he approached Adeleye to calm down the escalating situation. He mentioned, "I hear that there’s a back and forth, and I look up, and I’m confused. What’s going on between who? I just approach him to be like 'yo, chill out, there’s no need. Think about where you are. Think about what’s gone into this moment for you to be here. Appreciate that.' I was moving calm. Didn’t move quick, didn’t move sharp. I was relaxed. The actions of a few, and people who aren’t used to being in those settings, ruined what could’ve been a great day."
Both top heavyweight boxers came to terms with the red carpet incident, recognizing that it was an unintended occurrence. Adeleye expressed, "That situation on the day wasn’t meant to happen. Obviously, nobody goes out with the intention of getting in an altercation." He highlighted his instinct to protect himself, explaining, "If I’m having a heated conversation with somebody, and you come over toward me, the first thing I’m thinking is you’re coming to do something. Like I said, it’s either me or you, so I’d rather retaliate and ask questions later."
Wardley downplayed the incident, placing the blame squarely on Adeleye, and emphasized the importance of professionalism in such settings. He stated, "As someone who’s been in those situations before, I don’t act like that, I don’t need to. I understand my job. I understand what I’m here to do. I understand that I’m here to be a professional, regardless of if I think so-and-so’s approaching me funny or if he’s looking at me weird."
The tension outside the ring has now intensified the anticipation for the upcoming fight. Both fighters enter the bout with unbeaten records, but Wardley expressed his belief in his own superior experience. He said, "I don’t think. I know. Tried. Tested. Proven. I’ve been and done it. Big stages, big fights, big moments. I’ve always come through on top. It’s not that I’m even guessing."
Adeleye, while acknowledging Wardley's impressive resume, highlighted that it ultimately comes down to their face-off in the ring. He said, "He’s got a better resume. Like he said, he’s been there, he’s done that. It doesn’t really matter. It comes down to who you’re fighting at the end of the day, and he’s fighting me."
In response to Wardley's claims, Adeleye fired back, suggesting that Wardley has faltered in his career under pressure. He noted moments where Wardley hesitated and retreated. Adeleye confidently stated, "There’s been a couple of moments in your career where it has got a bit much, and you’ve backed off and circled off. You’ve not gone in, gone forward, bit down, got stuck in. I’m going off the evidence I’ve seen. It’s all fun and games to talk and say ‘I can do this, I can do that.’ What have you done? I don’t see it going more than six rounds."
Wardley smiled and countered Adeleye's claims, predicting a swift victory for himself. He emphasized his intention to set the pace and put the pressure on Adeleye early in the fight. Wardley confidently predicted, "I don’t see it going more than six [rounds]. My plan is to set the pace. Put it on him, stick it on him early. Let him feel that he’s in a big event, big place, big fight, and, like I’ve said before, like I’ve predicted, watch him crumble."
As the countdown to their highly anticipated clash in Saudi Arabia continues, both fighters remain steadfast in their determination to emerge victorious. Wardley's impressive track record and Adeleye's unwavering confidence set the stage for a thrilling encounter. All eyes will be on the boxing ring come October 28 as these two rivals aim to settle their dispute through their fists.
Check out the Wardley-Adeleye fight page here for updates.