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?





Cleverly set for Krasniqi (who?!?) clash

30 03 2012

Nathan Cleverly will defend his WBO light-heavyweight title against Robin Krasniqi after the WBO FINALLY sanctioned the bout.

The fight will take place on April 28 at the famous Royal Albert Hall.

The WBO initially decided against sanctioning the fight, stating that Cleverly must fight his mandatory challenger instead.

But Frank Warren has managed to persuade the WBO to allow this fight to happen, with WBO adding the stipulation that the winner must fight the mandatory challenger within 120 days.

Well it’s not exactly a fight to get excited about is it boxing fans?

Robin Krasniqi is ranked 4th by the WBO. Now some would ask “well what’s the problem then, he’s ranked 4th”. Yes that’s fine but they have Chad Dawson, who I believe would wipe the floor with Cleverly, ranked 7th and the WBC and IBO don’t even have him ranked inside their top 40. Says it all about Cleverly’s level of opposition.

Yet Cleverly, and promoter Frank Warren, will have you believe that Krasniqi will be a “hard test” and that he’ll “bring out the best” in Nathan. I hope boxing fans don’t fall for this.

I can fully understand fighters taking an easy defence here and there but when you’re 25 and only had 25 fights, with none of them being particularly tough (except perhaps Bellew), you don’t deserve to have an “easy” fight/defence.

A Carl Froch would be perfectly within his rights to take an “easy” fight due to the run he’s had, but what’s he doing; fighting Lucian Bute.

Warren seems to be pushing for a Cleverly-Hopkins fight (even if he doesn’t come through his rematch with Dawson) next. It’s a cracking fight for Cleverly to have but one he hasn’t earned and is a fight, I believe, he’ll lose. It’s nothing more than a pay-day for Cleverly.

But my message to Cleverly would be:

Get this fight with Krasniqi over with, fight your mandatory and then fight some real competition.

The likes of Cloud, Pascal, Shumenov and Campillo are the sort of fights Cleverly should be having, especially if he’s as good as he, and Frank Warren, say he is.

The Sweet Science UK prediction:

With all that said, I believe Cleverly will win. Most likely via a points decision as he doesn’t seem to have developed any real power in this division.

He does have a fantastic work-rate and that should see him through against Krasniqi but he’ll need more than that to beat the top names at 175.

 





Cleverly set for February defence

12 01 2012

Set for February defence

Nathan Cleverly is set to defend his WBO light-heavyweight title against southpaw Tommy Karpency on February 25.

It will be the Welshmen’s third defence and will take place at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.

Cleverly and promoter Frank Warren will be hoping a good performance against the American will lead to a major open-air show in the summer, possibly against Carl Froch.

This is nothing more than a stay busy fight for Cleverly and a chance for him to look good as Frank Warren is still building the “Cleverly” name up ; who I still maintain is nowhere near ready for the likes of Chad Dawson or Bernard Hopkins.

A fight against Froch, should he move up, would be a great fight for the British fans to see and could be a great fight stylistically.

I would have preferred to see Cleverly face Dmitry Sukhotsky or someone who is higher ranked than Karpency but beggars can’t be choosers.

Even a fight against fellow Welshman Enzo Maccarnelli would have been a great fight but I’d fully expect Cleverly to wipe the floor with Enzo. We should expect to see that fight at some stage as well.

I fully expect Cleverly to win via stoppage.





Froch outclassed

19 12 2011

Carl Froch lost his WBC super-middleweight title as he was outclassed by Andre Ward in the Super Six final in Atlantic City. 

Froch outclassed

Froch failed in his bid to become Super Six champion as he suffered a unanimous points decision loss to the classy American.

The Nottingham native never troubled the former Olympic gold medalist, who gave a masterful performance

In truth it was hard to give Froch too many rounds as he was made to look slow, ponderous and distinctly poor by Ward.

Ward boxed superbly throughout, using his jab to great effect and landing numerous left hooks.

Ward even managed to surprise Froch, and many others, by being the bully; backing him back onto the ropes throughout the fight.

But Froch never gave up and displayed a true warrior’s heart and fought till the very end.

On a side note, two of the judges’ score cards were just well; laughable.

I’m still left wondering how the Canadian and American judge scored the fight 115-113 to Ward. Had the British judge, who scored the fight a more credible 118-110 to Ward, scored differently we could have had another “controversial” decision. I’m well aware all judges look for different things when scoring a fight but there is no way that fight was as close as the American and Canadian judge scored it. Something seriously has to be done in the future regarding the judges’ scoring.

Froch now joins a long list of British fighters who have lost their titles abroad, but remained dignified in defeat unlike some.

The question now is where does Froch go from here?

His career is by no means over and there are a few fights still out there for him.

He could go on to fight Lucian Bute, a rematch with Mikkel Kessler or even move up to light-heavyweight and fight Nathan Cleverly.

Froch still believes that he could “get Ward” on a good night but after watching the performance on Saturday, I just cannot see it. Ward is too classy and quick for Froch and a rematch would likely result in another clear victory for Ward.

However the other fights should hold no fear for Froch.

Bute has never really fought anyone worth mentioning and has been very protected up in Canada. A rematch with Kessler would allow Froch to write a wrong and a fight with Nathan Cleverly would be a fantastic war and would make some serious money in the UK.

Anyone of these 3 fights would be fantastic and Froch would have a fantastic chance in any of these fights.

Froch should hold his head up high though. He fought like a true warrior and never gave up, fighting till the very end.

There is no shame in losing to Andre Ward (a fighter who has grown on me throughout this tournament), who by all accounts will go on to be a future P4P king.

 





Cleverly-Bellew: Who’s ‘0’ will go?

15 10 2011

Cleverly-Bellew: Clash at weigh in

The wait is finally over as bitter rivals Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew clash at Liverpool’s Echo Arena tonight for the WBO light-heavyweight title.

After months and months of back and forth trash talk, the two get the chance to settle their differences in the ring.

I’m not too sure why there is so much animosity between the pair, so much so that the police were called after Nathan’s father/trainer clashed with members of the Bellew team during a press conference, but the time for talking is now over.

Cleverly is the favourite with the bookies but Bellew shouldn’t be under-estimated by anybody.

Bellew packs a thunderous punch and Cleverly would be best served not to let Bellew test his chin too much.

This fight has the potential to go down alongside the other great all British wars. Eubank-Benn, Clazaghe-Woodhall and Cooper-Bugner.

Promoter Frank Warren has said that the winner of this will be looking at the winner of Dawson-Hopkins, with the preference being the living legend Bernard Hopkins as he would be the bigger draw.

For me, this is the wrong direction to take either of these fighters in. Both are good fighters, Cleverly with the potential to be a real good boxer but the likes of Hopkins and Dawson, when his head is right, are levels above these two fighters at the moment.

Sweet Science UK prediction

I expect this to be a good old fashion tear up, with both fighters doing their best to knock each other out. The animosity between the two is so fierce that it makes DeGale and Groves look like the best of friends.

Bellew has said he’ll look to box Cleverly, which would be a mistake for him. Cleverly is a better boxer. Bellew’s best bet is to drag this into the trenches and turn it into a real war. If he catches Cleverly clean; we’ll really see how good his chin is.

Cleverly should really look to box Bellew and not get drawn into a slug fest; which can happen with Cleverly as we’ve seen in the past. He has to stick to using his skills and not get drawn into Bellew’s kind of fight.

I’m expecting a cagey opening couple rounds as both boxers try to figure each other out before things eventually explode into action. I do think Cleverly will look to stand toe-to-toe with Bellew and try and blast him out of there, even though I think this is the wrong option for him.

But I expect Cleverly to retain his title via a late stoppage.

Watch Cleverly-Bellew clash at the weigh in below:





Tony Dodson: It’s my time

15 04 2011

Dodson: My time

It seems an age since we last saw the likeable Tony Dodson, so The Sweet Science UK sat down with Dodson to discuss his future plans in the sport and who he thinks will be the next British star.

The last time we saw Dodson in the ring, was earlier this year in the unforgettable light-heavyweight version of Prizefighter.

Sadly for Dodson things didn’t work out as he planned, who looked fantastic up until a cut cruelly forced him out.

“Yeh, I haven’t boxed since. I’ve just had to let my cuts heal.

“There is no doubt that I would have gone on to win that tournament. I was boxing great and I was far to experience for Travis (Dickinson) and that counts for a lot. You only need to see my previous fights to know I would have beaten him.

“But since the Prizefighter, I’ve just been ticking over and trying to stay in shape. I’m just looking forward to fighting again to be honest.”

Dodson will be looking to face Darren Stubbs for the English title after he officially moved up to the light-heavy weight division, which he believes is the right division for him.

“Hopefully this fight will take place at the end of May.

“I should have moved up to this weight like five years ago. I have no doubts that I’ll win a title here, I’m made for this weight class.

“The overall goal is just to keep winning, working myself up those rankings and if a title shot comes; I’m going to grab it with both hands.”

Talk soon turned to the state of British boxing and the next few fights of our current stars, with Dodson giving us his opinion and prediction.

James DeGale v George Groves:

“I think Groves will beat DeGale via KO.”

Amir Khan v Paul McCloskey:

“Khan will win inside 6 rounds.”

Nathan Cleverly v Juergen Braehmer:

“Cleverly’s fight is the toughest by far but I think he has the tools to beat this guy either by late stoppage or points.”

He also predicted previous opponent Carl Froch to win the Super Six tournament and declared Froch a “class act”.

“When I was growing up I looked up to Tyson but now it’s the likes of David Haye and Carl Froch. They’re the best at what they do. They’re so professional when it comes to the training and the way the hold themselves in public. Real role models.”

Dodson also predicted Martin Murray to become Britain’s next big boxing star.

“Murry is world class and a proper nice fella.”





DeGale-Groves: Fight signed

17 03 2011

DeGale v Groves: Rivals to meet

The long anticipated showdown between James DeGale and bitter rival George Groves will finally take place May 21 at the O2 Arena.

It’s the first time the two will meet since Groves beat DeGale in the amateurs and it’s safe to say there has been a lot of bad feeling ever since. The fight will take place on the under-card of WBO light-heavyweight fight between champ Jurgen Braehmer and Welshmen Nathan Cleverly.

To be honest I can’t see anything but a DeGale win so long as he is focussed. Groves is a danger but has shown himself to be a bit rash and I’m not sure if he has the right temperament at this stage of his career.

DeGale has shown he is coming of age in the professional division, with his superb win over Paul Smith to claim the British title last year.

To me, if DeGale is focussed then I can see him getting Groves out of there within six rounds; if he wants to. I believe DeGale wants to prove a point against Groves because that loss in the amateurs will have hurt his pride (no matter what he says in the press) and will be looking for a knock-out.

Groves best chance of winning this fight is getting on the inside and working the body. He has got the power to stop DeGale but I wonder whether he has the right skill set to get the better of DeGale’s defence, which improving every fight.

To have your say on the outcome of the fight post your comments below and vote in the boxing poll.