BT Sport Fight Night Live - Heaney vs FlatleyMar 26
Frank Warren exclusive: AJ vs Fury update, Dubois' comeback for interim world title shot and Williams vs Andrade preview
The Hall of Fame promoter speaks exclusively to btsport.com in the latest edition of his fortnightly column with plenty to get off his chest!
Let me explain where we’re at with the AJ vs Fury fight.
As Eddie Hearn announced recently, an agreement was signed between all parties. Within that agreement, we said we would work together on all the relevant announcements as and when they are ready to happen.
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A lot of the initial discussion about this fight began while I was in hospital recovering from Covid but the agreement states that all those involved with making the fight would have certain roles to fulfil. We were talking to people about sites and he [Eddie] was specifically talking to parties in the Middle East, among other places. That was what was agreed and we didn’t interfere - even though we’ve got contacts in that area, that was his [Eddie’s] job.
All that Eddie keeps telling us is that the offer would be in imminently. Well, here we are now, it’s Ramadan - which might delay things even more - and we still don’t have it.
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In the meantime, we’ve been talking to the government and they’ve been very supportive in working to try and find a plan B for the fight to go on here.
Tyson is very involved in the daily discussions that go on. At the end of the day, what he does is his decision and he’ll have the final say on everything.
People online don’t like it but I raised a very valid question this week that nobody seems to have considered yet, too.
Robert McCracken is the head trainer of the Olympic boxing team but he also trains AJ. He can’t be in two places at once. That will be a factor if they want this fight to be in early July or August.
If this fight doesn’t happen for some reason, Tyson will fight in the summer. He isn’t going to sit around anymore; he will have been out of the ring for 18 months by then. There is a contingency plan in place if the Joshua fight can’t get made but nobody wants to use it. We just want to get on and make the big one.
The return of Dynamite Dan!
We’ve also made a good fight for Daniel Dubois’ comeback.
He’ll be fighting against Bogdan Dinu for the interim WBA heavyweight title. The result of that is whoever wins it, which I hope is Daniel, will then be the mandatory for the WBA heavyweight title, currently held by Anthony Joshua.
It’s a big moment for him. He’s coming back with a tough fight and he really is going for it.
Dinu is 18-2, he’s a tough Bulgarian and he’s the defending interim champion. He’s only been beaten twice and they were against Jarrell Miller and Kubrat Pulev, so it’ll be a real test for Daniel.
We all know how his fight against Joe [Joyce] ended, it was controversial. Some people said he quit, I believe he did the right thing; either way, it was a really good fight up until the finish.
Daniel’s got massive pressure on him coming into this one and it will be a hard but we’ll get to see what he’s got by way of a response.
Lift off for the light-heavyweights
Anthony Yarde will be back out again on our next show. He’s got to get past Emin Atra, who’s an unbeaten German fighter coming over. Atra doesn’t have the experience Anthony has but an undefeated fighter is an undefeated fighter!
That fight will be on the undercard of the Denzel Bentley vs Felix Cash show alongside Callum Johnson’s first fight for Queensberry.
We’re delighted to have signed Callum up. He’s a great addition to our team and a great addition to the division we’re building. We’ve got quite a sexy stable of light-heavyweights now.
Lyndon Arthur has been injured but he’s probably going to fight in early June. Provided both he and Anthony Yarde both come through their fights, I think we’re going to see them in a rematch later this year.
It's Liam's time to shine
Liam Williams has got a huge opportunity against Demetrius Andrade this weekend.
Hopefully he’s going to be in the right place at the right time. He’s worked very hard to get himself into this position, he fought the number one contender, Atlantez Fox, and beat him and he’s looking really good and comfortable at the weight.
He’s been excellent since he moved up to super middleweight. He seems stronger and he’s built a really good relationship with Dominic Ingle since he moved up a weight so I’m pleased with that.
Liam is a determined, all-action fighter. He’s never in a boring fight, he gives absolutely everything. What he’s got to do with Andrade is press him, as soon as the bell goes.
All Andrade seems to be doing is spouting off about Canelo and Saunders. He should be focusing on Liam – I’m glad he’s not – but he should be because I’ll tell you what, he’s going to have his hands full. If Liam is ever going to do it, his moment is now.
He’s been with me since the start of his career and I really did fancy him as a fighter. I don’t want to upset his former trainer, Gary Lockett, but I thought Liam could have won the world title against Liam Smith [in 2017], were it not for Gary’s behaviour in the ring when they had that headbutt.
He was quite petulant in pulling Liam [Williams] out of the fight but I think the referee would have stopped it anyway in his favour. That is a lesson learned, he’s moved on now and seems to be in a better place.
Pleased to have you on board, Mr Speaker!
John Bercow has been a friend of mine for a while, he’s a fellow Arsenal supporter. We felt he would be a good addition to our board to help us out in other areas of the business that we’re working on.
We’re delighted to have him on board and he’s been quite helpful with us in advising on government legislation around the Covid situation. He’s here to help more with the corporate side. We’ve got enough boxing expertise, he’s here to help in other areas of our business and we’re quite thrilled that he’s on board with us.
Frank Warren will be back in a fortnight to give us his exclusive insight on the world of boxing with a huge year of fights ahead in 2021.