Are we witnessing the demise of Frank Warren Promotions?

9 03 2013

Frank-Warren-001George Groves and Ricky Burns have now added their names to the growing list of boxers who have left Frank Warren Promotions over the years.

Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and Kell Brook are just a few of the names who grew tired of Frank Warren Promotions and moved on to other promoters or to start their own promotional companies.

So why should these latest defectees concern Frank?

Well George Groves immediately signed with rival promotional company Matchroom Boxing, the number of postponements for his “bigger name” fighters, the criticism from the Burns, Bellew and Mitchell camps in recent months, the rumours that he isn’t paying his fighters on time and not to mention his TV channel, BoxNation, doesn’t seem to be the success he was hoping for.

Frank Warren should also be concerned of the growing popularity of Eddie Hearns Matchroom Boxing”. The two have had a bit of back and forth in the press recently and it’s the quote below from Frank Warren that I find most interesting.

“That’s why my fighters get home advantage when they fight, very rarely will I take them on the road unless I really fancy the job or they’re getting fantastically paid.

“What have they (Matchroom) done in the last year – taken four guys abroad and got them all beat,” he added. “What a great track record. There’s a good way to build your business.”

The quote above tells me that Mr Warren is completely out of touch with the average boxing fan. I think the majority of boxing fans applauded the fact that Eddie Hearn took his fighters abroad and took on the tough challenges, giving us fans the sort of fights we want to see.

In Darren Barker and Gavin Rees they went out to America, fought on HBO and took on Martinez and Broner, the best guys in their respective division. But in Frank Warrens eyes, that’s hurting the business. Forget giving the boxing fans what they want.

In my opinion, Barker and Rees earned more respect for taking those fights than someone like Nathan Cleverly has earned in his whole career to date. There’s nothing to be gained from padding out a fighters record against bums.

Oddly enough Warren could be accused of doing the same with Derek Chisora when he put him in against the likes of Fury, Vitali, Helenius and Haye. I didn’t hear Warren coming out and talking “business” then.

I just don’t think Warren can cut it any more as a promoter, I don’t think he knows how to build fighters any more. You only have to look at the success Kell Brook has had since moving on from Warren. He’s selling out arenas in Sheffield, he’s fighting on Sky Sports and he’s got a world title shot.

Instead he’s got fighters leaving him left, right and centre, his fighters aren’t anywhere near active enough, fight after fight being cancelled, fighters not being paid on time and a whole host of other issues that I can’t really touch upon as I don’t have any concrete proof but it’s safe to say that things really aren’t going right for Frank Warren.

Fighters seem to do much better elsewhere and if I was a boxer under Frank Warren Promotions, I’d certainly be considering my future.

So are we, the British boxing public, witnessing the demise of Frank Warren Promotions?

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Not so Special, eh Kell?

11 07 2012

Kell Brook came through the toughest test of his career to date as he held onto his unbeaten record in Sheffield.

Brook was pushed all the way by Carson Jones as he won the IBF Eliminator via a points decision.

‘Special K’s’ record now stands at 28-0 after two of the judges scored the bout 116-113 and 115-113 in favour of the hometown hero, while the third judge ruled it a draw.

Cheered on by the hometown crowd, Brook raced into an early lead as he constantly out-classed Jones during the first half of the fight; leaving Jones baffled and looking distinctly ordinary.

Brook established his jab early and was boxing superbly; showing a wide array of shots, good footwork and a willingness to tie up and work on the inside.

However Jones continued to come forward and apply the pressure in the final six rounds, and even breaking Kell’s nose in round 8 following a short right from the American.

No matter what Brook did, he could just not stop Jones from coming forward.

Jones, who won his last 8 fights by stoppage, looked like he was on his way to doing that in the 9th as he wobbled Brook who was saved by the bell.Brook seemed to wobble Jones in the 10th but that was a fleeting moment of success.

To his credit, Brook displayed real heart and courage as he refused to buckled under the intense pressure of Jones.

He decided to display his macho side in the 12th as he went toe to toe with Jones, as he silenced any doubts about his chin or heart.

Following the fight, Brook admitted he needs work on things for future fights.

“I think I got the diet right but I need to get the top men involved so I can sustain it through the whole fight. Things need to be addressed.”

There’s no doubt that Brook proved his chin and heart, something that his critics have wondered about him. That’s not the worry.

The worry for Team Brook should be how Brook seemed to gas-out following his start. Now the broken nose could have affected this but even before that he was starting to look a little sluggish. Another slight worry is Brook lack of power and if his stamina issue isn’t corrected, not having that big punching power could really come back to hinder Brook.

Now people tend to over-react to performances like this (see Amir Khan – Bredis Prescott). We may have just found a style that Brook struggles with (similar to Amir). There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s what Brook does next, what he does to adjust that really counts.

Brook and promoter Eddie Hearn made all the right noises following the fight, about taking another fight (Argentinean Hector Saldivia) before going for the IBF title.

It’s something I’d agree with and it will allow Brook to work on certain aspects of his fight game before he has a title shot.

This isn’t a time for massive changes for Kell; it’s about fine-tuning certain aspects of his fight game.

We’ll see just how special, ‘Special K’ really is.





Preview: Brook – Jones

7 07 2012

Time for Kell Brook to make a statement.

He’s already proved he’s the best in Britain following his one-sided beat-down of Matthew Hatton and now is his chance to prove himself on the international stage when he takes on America’s Carson Jones tonight.

Jones has a record of 34 wins (24 by KO), 8 losses and 2 draws and is ranked above Brook in the IBF rankings and is sure to present his sternest challenge so far.

Fact is both these two now have the toughest fight of their careers when they face off against one another tonight and a title shot against the winner of Randall Bailey – Devon Alexander awaits the winner. It’s time for both of these fighters to show whether they are ready to mix with the title holders.

The build up between the two has been pretty fiery, with the two clashing at the weigh in yesterday. Hopefully that means we’ll see an exciting fight.

Brook is definitely the better boxer and the more rounded fighter and I fully expect him to come through and win this. Brook cannot contemplate a loss here as it will set him back a fair way; especially after all the good work (in the ring and promotional wise) he’s done since hooking up with Eddie Hearn at Matchroom Boxing.

I’m still unsure of how Brook is going to win though. He’s come out and said he’s going to be aiming right for Jones head and looking to take him out but we haven’t really seen how Brook’s power stands up against the better fighters with Hatton and Ndou taking him the distance.

I don’t think Brook will have the power to keep Jones off him and can see Brook taking the decision win.

As I said, it’s time for Brook to make a statement tonight.

See below for the Brook – Jones weigh in:





Froch destroys Bute

30 05 2012

Well who saw that one coming?Froch KO's Bute

I for one certainly didn’t but I’m happy as Larry that I was there to see the demolition.

Carl Froch claimed the IBF super-middleweight title after destroying Lucian Bute inside 5 rounds to in his home town of Nottingham in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Froch was the underdog going into the fight, with many feeling the Romanian champ was too slick for the British warrior.

But Froch shocked the boxing world, not by simply defeating the undefeated Bute but by demolishing him in a performance full of power, determination and focus.

Backed by a capacity and raucous crowd, started quite tentatively with neither throwing too much as they felt each other out. Froch landed with one or two more flurries and in my opinion took the first round.

Again there wasn’t much to talk about for most of the second round but in the final minute or so Froch landed some shots on Bute that momentarily worried the champ and had him clinching Froch, who won round 2 in my opinion also.

Things really picked up round 3. Bute actually started quite well, landing a few solid shots on Froch before the Nottingham man turned up the heat. After he was tagged by Bute, Froch pushed forward and “bum-rushed” But landing left and rights which caused the champion to back up onto the ropes and invite Froch onto him.

That was definitely a big mistake on Bute’s part and Froch hammered away with lefts and rights, with each punching drawing a loud response from the Nottingham faithful.

Bute, whose legs seemed to have gone, grabbed onto Froch and then, idiotically, backed himself up into another corner and allowed Froch to tee off again before clinching again. It was a pattern that continued through to the end of the round, with Froch teeing off as Bute lay against the ropes and clinching whenever he got the chance. Even though there was no knock down, there’s no doubt in my mind that it was a 10-8 round to Froch.

Bute deserves a bit of credit for sticking in there but as walked back to his corner after round 3, any confidence he had going into this fight was visibly gone from the Canada-based champ.

Round 4 was fairly even, that is until the final 20-odd seconds. Froch charged Bute, who was against the ropes, and proceeded to hammer away with the bell saving Bute from his first loss. Bute struggled to find his corner following that attack from Froch and I was surprised his corner didn’t pull him out then and there.

However Froch wasn’t to be denied on this night and he jumped on Bute from the very first second of round 5. Froch stalked his opponent around the ring and backed him up onto the ropes before unleashing a barrage of power shots that had Bute’s rocked Bute’s had back numerous times.

The referee jumped in and looked as though he stopped the fight, only to attempt to give Bute a standing 8 count as the champ struggled to keep himself upright.

But that was all immaterial as Bute’s corner walked into the ring to retire their fighter out and end the contest, to give Carl Froch his third world title.

Here below is the post-fight press conference:

Hear what Froch had to say on the fight:

Hear what promoter Eddie Hearn had to say on the fight:





Froch – Bute build up

23 05 2012

Here are a few videos to get fans in the mood for Carl “The Cobra” Froch’s fight against IBF champion Lucian Bute.

The fight takes place Saturday May 26th at Nottingham’s Capital Arena for Lucian Bute’s IBF super-middleweight title.

When Worlds Collide: Froch v Bute:

Carl Froch: Behind The Ropes:

Lucian Bute: Behind The Ropes:

Froch on the fight:

Froch on rematch clause:

Bute on the fight:

Press conference:

Head to head:

Promo video:

More video’s will be added as they become available.





‘War of the Roses’

13 01 2012

War of the Roses

Kell Brook will do battle with fellow Brit Matthew Hatton on March 17, in a clash dubbed “War of the Roses”.

Special K will look to extend his unbeaten run against the tough Mancunian at the Sheffield Arena and will hope that an impressive win will see him get his world title shot.

Hatton, who will be fighting in his 50th professional fight, stands in his way as the two battle it out to determine who the best fighter at 147lbs in Britain is.

I have to say I’m a little disappointed with this fight being made.

No disrespect to Matthew Hatton but he’s a European level fighter and we’ve already seen Brook dismantle people at European level. We know Brook is better than European level; he’s ranked top 10 by all the governing bodies.

The question fans want answering is whether Brook is good enough for the world and elite level.

I know Eddie Hearn, his promoter, is still building up the “Brook” brand and at least he’s becoming more active but if Kell’s as good as he and Hearn say he is, chuck him in there with some real quality opposition. The phrase “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough” springs to mind.

For me, Brook should have been facing a Pauli Malignaggi, Mike Jones, Carlos Quintana, Joshua Clottey or Vyacheslav Senchenko.

Those are the sort of fights Brook needs so he can get an indicator of how close he is to challenging for a world title.

But with that said, it’s a decent scrap for the British public to get behind and will provide another chance for Kell Brook, and Matthew Hatton, to gain some much needed exposure.

Hatton is a durable and tough fighter and I expect him to put up a decent fight but his style is tailor made for Brook and I can see nothing other than a Brook win, possibly by a late stoppage.

After this fight Brook and Eddie Hearn need to really look at stepping up his level of opponents.

Check out the video below to hear Kell Brook and Matthew Hatton’s thoughts on the fight:





Brook shines on American debut

19 12 2011

Brook shines on American debut

Kell Brook has given British boxing a timely boost following his impressive American debut.

Brook produced a controlled performance to dispose of the durable Luis Galarza inside 5 rounds on the Froch-Ward undercard.

The Sheffield native was in complete control throughout the fight, despite being caught once or twice, and almost had the contest over in the first round.

Brook landed a big right hand followed up by a spiteful jab that had Galarza stumbling, only to be saved by the bell.

“Special K” showed good patience throughout the next few rounds and boxed smartly, landing fast combinations and breaking down his opponent with a hurtful jab.

Brook finally got rid of Galarza in the 5th. He landed a big right hand which pushed the Puerto Rican back onto the ropes before unleashing a flurry that forced the referee to call a halt to the contest.

In all honesty, the stoppage was perhaps a tad premature but it was only a matter of time before Brook knocked Galarza out and the referee did the right thing to prevent any further damage.

Now we all know this was just a showcase fight for Brook; a chance to impress on his American debut, which he did.

But now is the time for Brook to step up his level of competition. Brook is in a very odd position as he is ranked the number 2 welterweight in the world by the WBO, the title that a certain Manny Pacquaio holds.

I’m not suggesting Brook seeks a fight with Pacquaio (because he’s nowhere near ready) but a fight against someone ranked in the top 10 is a must.

Maybe a Paulie Malignaggi or Devon Alexander would give us a chance to see whether Brook is good enough to challenge for a world title. Now some people might scoff at the idea of Malagnaggi but this guy is a good pro, a good opponent and in the permanent role of “boxing gatekeeper”.

Malignaggi has already called out Brook via Twitter, saying that if the price is right he’ll fight him in the UK.

This is a fight that has to be made.

Following the despair of the Carl Froch fight, British boxing might just have a new superstar on the horizon.

Time to step up: Kell “Special K” Brook.