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?





Froch: A free agent

18 04 2011

WBC Super Middleweight Champion: Carl Froch

Carl Froch has officially confirmed his split from Hennessy Sports promotions.

There have been rumours for weeks but the WBC super middleweight champion has confirmed the split from long time promoter Mick Hennessy.

I’ve been a long time fan of Carl Froch and firmly believe this could be the best thing to happen to him. For one reason or the other, Froch has not received the backing from British fans or TV stations, while the likes of David Haye, Amir Khan and even Audley Harrison have received fantastic backing from the TV stations.

Froch has admitted he’ll promote himself for his next two fights, which are already mapped out in the Super Six tournament, but once that is over I believe one of the big UK boxing promoters should step in and sign Froch up. He is a fantastic fighter who never backs down from a challenge and is always in exciting fights; he is a promoters dream in my eyes.

If I was Ricky Hatton, I’d be straight on the phone to Carl and sign him up. He is just the sort of fighter Hatton needs to help his promotion company; he could be their star name.

And Hatton could do wonders for Froch too. Hatton is probably the most popular British boxer in history and his popularity could definitely help Froch gain the wider exposure he deserves.

Whatever happens, I really hope Froch does get some better exposure because he has been greatly under appreciated by British fans for far too long.





One to watch: Joe Collins

15 04 2011

Collins (left): One to watch

With the state of British boxing looking better than ever, The Sweet Science UK sat down with rising star Joe “Crackers” Collins to discuss how he got into boxing and how he sees his future in boxing panning out. 

The 24-year-old Manchester based-boxer is a bit of a late bloomer to the professional ranks and relatively unknown but with his last fight being promoted under the Hatton Promotions banner; he is sure to be a face British fans will soon come to recognise very soon.

“I first got into boxing through a friend. I was coming off a knee injury I sustained in a football match and I was just trying to get fit again to play football.

“But once I was there I couldn’t turn back. The atmosphere in the gym and the work rate was first class and after I had my first sparring session, I didn’t look at any other sport. Boxing had and has taken over my life.”

Studying boxers and boxing itself became the norm for Joe, who counts the likes of Marco Antonio Barrrera, Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe as his idols.

“I used to look up to the likes of Hatton, Calzaghe, Michael Brodie, Scott Harrison and, of course, Barrera. They were brilliant to watch.

“My favourite fight has to be the second fight between Barrera and Erik Morales, it was an incredible fight. But Michael Gomez v Alex Arthur was a bit special too and has to be up there.”

The light-welterweight now trains under the well-respected coach Bob Shannon at Shannon’s Fighting Fit gym in Openshaw.

“Bob Shannon is a great trainer who is very determined and very knowledgeable about the sport.

“I look up to all the lads I train with at Shannon’s gym. Denton Vassell, Prince Arron, Kieran Maher and of course, Matthew Hatton. It’s a top set-up there and everyone in the gym helps out. They all play their part in the gym and they deserve all the credit in the world for making it such a success.”

Talk moves on to Joe’s style of boxing, which may shock a few of you considering his “Crackers” nickname.

“I like to slip and roll under shots you know. I’m not adverse to mixing it up but that’s definitely my style.

When asked on which boxer he’d like to fight, the response wasn’t as I’d expected.

“Rocky Balboa! (Haha) Why not? To be honest I’ve never really thought of who I’d like to step into the ring with.”

Following a defeat in his last fight (the fight was stopped in the third following a clash of heads which left Collins with a broken nose) we asked Collins how he sees his career in boxing panning out.

“I want to get as far as my ambition and drive will take me.”

When asked if he feels he could become a title holder in his division, Collins responded quite simply.

“If I don’t believe in myself no-one would ever believe me.”

There is no doubting he’s got people who believe in him. The likes of Hatton Promotions, Bob Shannon and his stable mates. But most importantly he has that inner self belief that is the most crucial thing for a boxer.

Finally we finished up the interview by asking Collins, a student of the game, on his prediction for the up-coming Khan – McCloskey fight.

“I think Khan will win by stoppage late on, around the 10th. McCloskey will be very tricky and he can hit too, so it will be a tough fight for Amir, a lot tougher than some think.”





Khan’t please everyone

11 04 2011

Khan-McCloskey: Schedule change

Amir Khan’s title clash with Paul McCloskey will now be shown live on the cable station Primetime.

The fight, which was promoted as a Sky Box Office event only two months ago, has now fallen into the hands of the cable network station after Sky decided to pull the plug following several changes to the bill.

Sky did believe the fight will still be screen live on Sky Sports 3 after financial terms were initially agreed with the Khan camp but that is no longer the case.

A Sky Sports spokesperson said: “Khan vs McCloskey will not be shown on Sky Box Office or any of the Sky Sports channels as it has not proved possible to reach an agreement on TV scheduling.

“Financial terms were agreed and a solution was offered for the fight to appear on Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD3 following the decision not to broadcast on Sky Box Office. It was not accepted.”

Despite this obvious setback Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive, told The Sun: “There is no doubt that Amir is boxing’s next true superstar and, as a world champion, is a fighter that now commands pay-per-view billing.”

Now while I do agree with Schaefer to an extent, the fact Sky scrapped their box office plans for this fight should serve as a big warning to the Khan camp. While he is a fans favourite, he is not in the Ricky Hatton mould over here and there is a lot of work to be done on that front and he is not a huge star in America either, so Schaefer should be very careful about calling Khan “boxing’s next true superstar” as there are plenty more viable candidates.

Sadly not a lot of people will see this fight now as not many people have access to the Primetime channel, just ask Carl Froch, but Khan will have to win and win in style in order to get fans back on his side because at the moment something isn’t quite right with the chemistry.

And if this is the case, Schaefer and Khan can forget about being “boxing’s next true superstar”.

See below for a fan made promo video for the fight:





DeGale and Groves: War of words

18 03 2011

DeGale v Groves: Bad blood

James DeGale and George Groves met on Sky Sports Ringside last night to discuss their upcoming fight.

After watching these two go at it, I can’t wait for the May 21st showdown. You can literally feel the animosity between the two and I can see this ending in a KO for someone, with my money leaning towards DeGale at this stage.

I must admit, even though I am a DeGale fan his antics on Ringside left me feeling a bit annoyed. DeGale came across as childish, while Groves seemed very focussed and much more grown up.

But it did remind me of the build up between Floyd Mayweather and Ricky Hatton with Mayweather boasting and bragging while Hatton remained calm and collected throughout.

And we all remember what happened with that fight.

Watch the segment from Ringside below:

Simple question for boxing fans; Who are YOU picking? vote in the boxing poll selection or feel free to leave comments.





‘Magic’ fails to shine

6 03 2011

Hatton: Not big enough

Matthew Hatton lost a unanimous points decision to unbeaten Mexican Saul Alvarez for the vacant WBC light-middleweight title.

The younger Hatton failed to follow in brother Ricky’s footsteps and bring a world title back to Britain as he was easily out-classed by the highly rated youngster.

Hatton failed to win a single round on any of the judge’s score cards, as Alvarez became the youngest ever light-middleweight world champion.

The Golden Boy prospect certainly had an easier time of it in the ring than he did out, as he originally failed to make the required weight which certainly would have embarrassed promoter and former fighter Oscar De La Hoya.

But once the weight issue was settled and the fight got under-way there was only going to be one winner.

Alvarez was too big and too powerful for the Mancunian, who had stepped up in weight – and class – to take this fight, has now admitted he will look to drop back down to his natural weight.

The Mexican was in complete control from round one as he landed a series of flurries to the head of Hatton to set the tone for the rest of the fight.

He bloodied Hatton’s nose during the second, following another series of head shots which cause his face to mark up.

Alvarez – nicknamed ‘Canelo’ – continued to dominate Hatton throughout the rounds, opening up a gash above his left eye during round four with his precise punching.

The only real blemish for the young powerhouse – inside the ring – came in the seventh when he was docked a point for an illegal blow as he punched out of the clinch, which resulted in Hatton dropping the canvas.

Despite that setback the round was still scored a 9-9, showing how dominate Saul Alvarez was in picking up the WBC light-middleweight title vacated by Manny Pacquiao.

Matthew Hatton will now look to drop down a weight and hope to gain another world title shot.