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Torrez: 'Frazer Clarke would be one heck of a fight'

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 03/02/2023
Richard Torrez is an all-action heavyweight Richard Torrez is an all-action heavyweight

Richard Torrez sees himself as part of a new generation in heavyweight boxing that is looking to take over the division in years to come.

The USA's Torrez won the super-heavyweight silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

He sees himself, Olympic bronze medallist Frazer Clarke and gold medallist Bakhodir Jalolov as just some of the next generation heavyweights who will make a mark on the professional sport.

"I hope so. I think that this is a great time in heavyweight boxing. You see the guys up top that have kind of kicked down the doors again. And you see the up and comers coming through as well," he told Sky Sports.

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"A lot of great talent, a lot of power, speed, technique and range and varieties of heavyweight boxing as well. It's going to be one heck of a few years to come and I'm proud and thankful and honoured to be a part of that and I just want to come out on top of it.

"I don't think we can rule out Jared Anderson either. Jared's a big dude and I think he's coming up in the rankings well," he added.

"There's such great competition that we can't say who's going to be the top guys right now.

"One of the things that drives me so much is that there is so much competition. So I'm not going to sit back and just relax.

"I'm working hard because I know there's things I need to improve and things I need to get better at for the time when I do face these guys."

The American would like to travel to the UK to fight Clarke.

"I think that would be an amazing fight. Frazer Clarke, he's one of my friends. When I was 17, it was the first time I sparred Frazer at the Olympic training centre in the United States. Then we were in a bunch of tournaments together. We just never really met up in the same fight but he's one heck of a guy and that would be one heck of a fight," Torrez said.

"That would be a ton of action. I think that fight would go into the later rounds and I think that it's a heavyweight battle, someone's going to land a shot. I think that's how it goes. I think it's going to be conditioning versus technique."

In the modern heavyweight division, Torrez is one of the smaller fighters. But he maintains he has the attributes to trouble the big men like Clarke.

"I think while it's negative in the long game, it's more effective in the short game. So I can land those short shots, I can land those uppercuts, those hooks and with the bigger guy I'd be able to hook harder and have more time to land those in close shots," he said.

"To be able to get inside, just suck up that distance and use my conditioning while I'm on the inside to just keep punching, I think that would deter a lot of the bigger guys."

He takes inspiration from how Oleksandr Usyk moved up from cruiserweight to become the unified WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight champion. A southpaw himself, with an Olympic background like Usyk too, Torrez aspires to follow that template.

"Look at Usyk, look at what he has done, and to be able to try and mimic some of his style as well. It's incredible," he said.

"It really is shining a light on the smaller heavyweights again and I'm really appreciative of that."

Torrez plans to continue his advance and put his high-octane style to work against James Bryant on the Emanuel Navarrete vs Liam Wilson undercard. He expects to deliver some drama once again.

"I believe so. After a fight, if I'm not dead tired I feel like I've done something wrong," he said. "I'm training to have a really high punch output and you will see that in the fight."

Watch Richard Torrez vs James Bryant on the Emanuel Navarrete undercard live on Sky Sports Arena at 2am on Saturday morning.

Richard Torrez fights James Bryant tonight from 2am live on Sky Sports Arena (Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank) Richard Torrez fights James Bryant tonight from 2am live on Sky Sports Arena (Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

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