Suffolk boxing star Fabio Wardley defended his British heavyweight title for the first time with an explosive seventh round stoppage of David Adeleye in Saudia Arabia last night.

Wardley moved to 17-0 with 16 straight stoppages following an intelligent, composed display which also saw him collect the Commonwealth title and the WBO European belt, and defend his WBA Continental strap.

The 28-year-old, fighting in front of millions watching around the world as chief support to Tyson Fury's split decision win over boxing debutant Francis Ngannou, used feints and hand speed to great effect against Adeleye (now 12-1, 11KO).

His opponent did have success with his jab, and landed some heavy shots in the fifth round, but Wardley remained calm, ate the punches and detonated some big right hands of his own.

The end came in the closing seconds of the seventh round, as Wardley exploded out of a clinch with a massive right/left combo to deck Adeleye, who grinned and stuck his tongue out while lying on the canvas.

He wasn't smiling much longer though, as Wardley swarmed him with a barrage of spiteful, damaging hooks, leaving him falling into the ropes as the ref stepped in to end the fight.

Adeleye, who taunted the Suffolk sledgehammer in the run-up to the fight, protested the stoppage, shoving the referee, but it looked to be a decision which saved him from ending up face down on the floor. 

After the fight, Wardley said he deserved to be talked about as a serious contender in the heavyweight ranks, despite his relative lack of experience - he turned pro after just four white collar bouts.

But he's sparred with some of the best in the world - Fury, Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua to name a few - and appears to pack the sort of freakish power and speed which could make him a major player in boxing's most glamorous division.

East Anglian Daily Times: Fabio Wardley added the Commonwealth and WBO European belts to his British and WBA Continental titlesFabio Wardley added the Commonwealth and WBO European belts to his British and WBA Continental titles (Image: Matthew Pover/Matchroom Boxing)
Wardley insisted: “Everyone tags this white collar name on me, but I’ve dropped that and shedded it off.

“And look, I’m beating high-level amateurs over and over again. I don’t know what more you want from me to prove that I’m a serious contender in this game.”

Of the fight, he added: "He was trying to goad me, thinking I’m going to come firing forward.

“Look, I do that when I have to, but I’ve got boxing IQ - I’m smart, I know what to do in that ring. I know how to lead someone in, I know how to draw someone in, and that’s exactly what I did there.

“The difference was experience. I knew what to do in certain situations that didn’t go my way, I knew what to do as the rounds went on – I wasn’t even counting the rounds – I felt good, I was punching through the rounds.

“I was on form, that’s probably the best I’ve felt.”

Asked what he wants next, Wardley highlighted British Olympic medalist Frazer Clarke (8-0, 6KO), who was making himself heard at ringside.

East Anglian Daily Times: Wardley could well face Frazer Clarke next Wardley could well face Frazer Clarke next (Image: PA Images)
The duo were originally due to fight earlier this year, with initial discussions held about hosting the fight at Portman Road, but Clarke's team appeared to pull the plug.

But Wardley stressed: “There’s someone ringside right now making their voice heard. He’s flown all the way over here for me, big Frazer Clarke.

“I’ve got one more fight at British level, if that man over there wants it then we can get it done.”