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.

In to the frying pan: Egg and Cheese serve up a sizzler

Eggington vs. Cheeseman boxing

Ted Cheeseman beats Sam Eggington in Fight Camp domestic dust-up

Matchroom Boxing returned to the promotional scene with a show in Eddie Hearn’s Brentwood backyard. The first of four Fight Camp outings was headlined by Sam Eggington and Ted Cheeseman. The latter won on points after 12 predictable rounds of non-stop, brain cell-bashing action.

Eggington took some shots in the second round and was rocked to his boots. Sam smiled, fired back and tried to get his boxing going as the rounds flew by. Eggington brawled his way back into the contest to tighten up the totals.

The judges’ scorecards:

Phil Edwards 116-113

Howard Foster 115-114

Ian John-Lewis 116-113

Sky analyst Matthew Macklin lauded the grit and determination of both men. It was decent fare and a rematch would probably be easy to make should Cheeseman want to go again rather than move on to bigger things.

“I’m a winner, I Iove winning. I’ve given my heart and soul to the sport,” said an emotional Cheeseman after the headline bout.

Eggington Cheeseman boxing
Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

James Tennyson stops Gavin Gwynne in six rounds

Belfast power-puncher James Tennyson knocked out Welshman Gavin Gwynne to win the British lightweight title. Tennyson set a hot early pace but Gwynne held firm. Dropped midway through the sixth from a cracking right hook, Gwynne’s face was smashed to bits when Phil Edwards intervened at 2-30.

Wins for Wardley, Gill and Smith on the rest of the undercard

Fabio Wardley stopped Simon Vaillily in round three to win the English heavyweight title.

Jordan Gill was too sharp for Reece Bellotti, sweeping a unanimous points decision over 10 rounds.

Dalton Smith uncorked a cracking shot to finish Nathan Bennett in round five.

Sor Rungvisai outpoints Ruenroeng in Thailand

Former super-flyweight champion wants crack at WBC king Estrada

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai is gunning for a shot at WBC super-flyweight king and old foe Juan Francisco Estrada after defeating Amnat Ruenroeng by unanimous decision in Thailand. Taking place earlier this morning, the judges returned scores of 97-94, 96-93 and 99-91 all in favour of the man known as “Wikaksil Wangek”.

The main event and undercard was streamed live to fans on the Matchroom Boxing YouTube channel.

Sor Rungvisai reverted to his more natural southpaw stance rather than the ill-judged orthodox stance he adopted in the Estrada rematch. The fight favourite did a good job of creating distance and avoiding the smothering tentacles of boxing’s premier spoiler.

That was until the third round when a headbutt caused a bad laceration to Sor Rungvisai’s left eyelid. Ruenroeng’s pot shots were landing and an inevitable wrestle to the floor occurred in the sixth round as the 40-year-old veteran finally implemented his mauling game.

Overall it was a solid 10 rounds for Sor Rungvisai who shipped a few clean shots as the bout progressed. The ex-champion will be a handful for any of the champions but is possibly slipping.

Rematch with Mexican belt holder the plan for Sor Rungvisai

Speaking after the bout, Sor Rungvisai said that he was satisfied with his performance and praised Ruenroeng’s preparation. The victor put Estrada on notice for a rubber match. Sor Rungvisai, 33, has been grossly inactive for a top level operator. Estrada took the WBC title from him in 2019.