Frank Warren challenges Eddie Hearn to make the big fights

Queensberry challenges matchroom and sky

Queensberry promoter sends open message to Matchroom and Sky Sports

Frank Warren has reached across the British boxing divide and offered up the cream of his stable to fight the best of Eddie’s current crop. A genuine attempt or a publicity stunt? Veteran Frank knows the game so you decide.

It seemed an exciting idea until Demetrius Andrade was spotted on the poster but what can you do? Let’s have a look at the press statement and what they want to achieve.

Frank Warren issues “press alert”

WITH SPORT ON the whole creeping sluggishly out of enforced hibernation and attempting to establish a foothold in the world of the so-called new normal, how about lighting the touch paper and really bringing British boxing back with a bang?

The time is right to throw off the shackles and truly give our sport a proper shot in the arm.

What I am proposing is to break down the borders and give the fans the fights they want to see.

Let’s make the natural matches that have previously been deemed too complicated due to promotional and broadcast affiliations. Queensberry’s finest versus the best of Matchroom. 

Why not?

Queensberry challenges matchroom and sky
Who wants it? Brick Top ready to thrown down with Eddie.

Would this idea invigorate the sport of boxing?

The prospect of the best of British getting it on would reinvigorate the sport, increase the subplots and really get people talking about the game again.

Forget about promoter pride and egos, it is not about us. This is the time to turbo-charge boxing right back into the mainstream and capture the imagination of the watching public.

People talk about various industries resetting following the traumas this year has inflicted on the world.

Well, this is our chance to do just that. You can call it my 2020 vision.

The fans are longing to see Anthony Yarde take on Joshua Buatsi with light heavyweight supremacy at stake. So am I, let’s get it done.

Who wouldn’t want to see Dillian Whyte taking on the best young heavyweight in the world, Daniel Dubois, later this year or early next while Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are busy making other plans?

Warren suggests boxing matchups the fans want to see

Any takers for Joe Joyce against Dereck Chisora? Archie Sharp v Zelfa Barrett? Hamzah Sheeraz v Ted Cheeseman? Charlie Edwards v Kal Yafai? What about seeing Nathan Gorman step in the ring with Dave Allen? There are numerous potential bangers there to be made and no good reason not to make them. Liam Williams is due a world title any day now, so let’s add a bit of American flair and stick Andrade in the mix too.

Let’s stop any tactical maneuvering and deliver the fans the fights they want to see. 

I know there will be more than a few sceptics who will doubt the plausibility of such ambitious matchmaking due to the complex nature of the promotional terrain. I say we should smash down the barriers for the benefit of the sport and, most importantly, the people who support it.

From our side, our broadcast partner BT Sport fully buys into the concept and is ready and willing to help make it happen. If Sky Sports are of the same mindset, so much the better, and an equitable distribution of the fights can be worked out. No problem.

Can anyone begin to imagine what sort of business a dual branded PPV would do with Daniel vs Dillian on top. How about a stacked undercard featuring Edwards vs Yafai, Gorman vs Allen and Sheeraz vs Cheeseman all on the bill? This is great for fans, great for business and all together great for boxing.

As Lennox Lewis once said to Mike Tyson: “It’s time to put up or shut up”

There really isn’t any reason to put up any roadblocks to having the boxing pot overflowing with meaningful matches that would get the attention they deserve.

Our door is wide open to begin negotiations for one-off spectacles, a sequence of events, a Test series of top ‘us versus them’ humdingers. The possibilities are endless and everything is on the table.

Forget the past. Don’t focus on the difficulties and let’s get on and make the fights people want to see. When it comes time to make Fury v AJ, everyone involved will have to cooperate anyway so I see no reason why we can’t make these fights now.

You could say I am throwing down the gauntlet and I would hope this honest proposal is taken at face value and not blithely dismissed.

For the long-term good of our sport, now is the time to put up or shut up.

Oscar De La Hoya: Boxing’s Golden Boy losing his shine

I’ve always been a massive Oscar De La Hoya fan. During a 16-year career his enthusiasm to constantly fight the best, win or lose, stood out like a sore thumb in boxing’s repetitive dance of duckers and divers.

In 2004 I travelled to Las Vegas to witness Oscar’s audacious attempt to wrestle the WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight titles from Bernard Hopkins. De La Hoya and Hopkins are now friends and business associates. Back then it was strictly business.

Felix Sturm deemed unlucky in WBO title defence

For a man who started off his career at super-featherweight, De Le Hoya had no place competing at 160. The “Golden Boy” had been lucky to squeeze past WBO champion Felix Sturm when he first tested the water some three months prior to the Hopkins bout.

HBO had Sturm winning. He outlanded the title challenger consistently, making De La Hoya look heavy and sluggish. 

On any other night Sturm would have deservedly retained his belt. However, having already seen Hopkins win earlier in the evening against Robert Allen, with such a big future event riding on Oscar getting the win over Sturm, it was with an inevitable roll of the eyes that De La Hoya took the title by three identical scores of 115-113. Sturm headed back to Germany with no title but great credit in the bank for his performance. 

Hopkins breathed a sigh of relief. The officials had guaranteed him the big pay day that a fight with Oscar De La Hoya always generated. Oscar himself was the most relieved man in the MGM Grand.

Bernard Hopkins was much bigger than De La Hoya

When they eventually met, Hopkins stopped De La Hoya with a body shot in the eighth round. Despite some flashes of hand speed that excited a pro-Oscar crowd, he was too small for B-Hop and the veteran’s size and quality won through. 

Tucked away in the nosebleed section, I was so far back that I could barely see the final punch landing. A fellow reveller, sensibly armed with a pair of binoculars, later suggested that the loser had thrown the fight. I didn’t buy that then and I don’t buy it now. For all of his faults, quitting wasn’t Oscar’s style.

While I still don’t believe a man of Oscar’s ring pedigree would attempt to explicitly throw fights, there have been numerous dubious incidents, increasing as the years go by. Stories of current and past infringements concerning De La Hoya have taken the glean off his golden persona.

Oscar’s struggles with substances are well documented. The darker side of his interactions with women occasionally flare up, with fresh accusations and tales from yesteryear floating in and out of the public realm.

The infamous photographs of his personal activities away from the media glare are used by boxing rivals as a continuous beating stick.

As I write this, De La Hoya enjoys a sizeable personal fortune and operates under a lucrative contract with TV sports outlet DAZN. Yet his public relationships with some of his prize assets (notably Canelo Alvarez and Ryan Garcia) draw constant scrutiny. Golden Boy shows are starting to reappear, as are Matchroom USA events, with promoters scrambling to catch up with Top Rank’s post-virus lead.

How much control does he have of his business, of his fighters, or of himself? Are the likes of Eric Gomez and Bernard Hopkins keeping things running smoothly? Was the much-maligned Richard Schaefer truly a major brain behind the organisation?

Alfonso Gomez aggrieved by De La Hoya

Recently a friend of the Boxing Asylum, Aymz, caught up with Alfonso Gomez. Despite effectively ending the careers of two great fighters in the form of Arturo Gatti and Jose Luis Castillo, Gomez could never catch a promotional break, especially with De La Hoya’s Golden Boy entity.

Despite holding a sketchy record on paper, Mexican Gomez was a solid operator who always came to win while fighting a host of recognisable names across his professional career. He even managed to fit in a successful run through NBC’s Contender series in 2005.

Despite his talents and reputation Gomez was always the bridesmaid when it came to matchmaking and he could never quite nail down that exclusive promotional contract. Boxing is a perennial blame game and the Guadalajara native believes there was one major factor stunting his professional progression.

Click on the video to discover Gomez’s beef with the Golden Boy

Written by Steve W