BT Sport Fight Night Live - Heaney vs FlatleyMar 26
Frank Warren exclusive: Joyce vs Hammer preview & Tommy Fury vs Jake Paul update
Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren speaks exclusively to BTSport.com ahead of Joe Joyce vs Christian Hammer this Saturday night, live on BT Sport 1HD from 7pm.
Joe Joyce is back in action this weekend and I’m really looking forward to it.
He can’t afford to take this guy lightly though. Christian Hammer is the sort of guy who is no pushover. Joe will be favourite, but people forget Joe’s only had 13 fights. He’s coming back off a broken wrist too so he needs to test that arm and make sure he’s okay.
He’s in a great position right now, he’s number one in the WBO rankings and so he needs to do the job efficiently on Saturday. It’s important that he doesn’t do what ended up happening with Tyson Fury when he fought Otto Wallin; they thought it was going to be a knockover to keep ticking along and then Tyson ended up getting that terrible cut. It was touch and go whether he was going to get through that fight. These big guys have got to be very careful!
If Joe does come through it, there’s lots happening. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the rematch with Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua in August and then we’ll be in a position where all our heavyweights who are on BT Sport – Tyson Fury, Joe and Daniel Dubois – will be ranked number one in the WBC, WBO and WBA rankings respectively. All roads lead to us.
If Tyson decides he wants to do the unification with the winner of Usyk vs Joshua 2, I’m quite sure the governing bodies would allow that. If not, either the WBO or the WBA will order a mandatory defence which means the winner will have to fight against one of our guys and then the other straight after.
He’s had such a frustrating year, Joe, but the future looks bright for him.
Another big fight that can’t go under the radar is that potential rematch against Daniel Dubois. We sold out the O2 Arena for that before the pandemic and now they’re both in a much stronger position. That could even be a stadium fight early next year!
Christian Hammer fought Frank Sanchez, the undefeated Cuban who’s a really tricky customer, in his last big fight. They went the distance and Sanchez is number three in the world. Hammer has been knocked over before but he’s a tough old sod and he knows his way around the game.
Joe’s done everything asked of him so far but he did get hit a few times in that last fight against Carlos Takam so this could be another good, fun fight while it lasts!
We’re in a great position as far as the heavyweights are concerned so Joe can’t afford to slip up on Saturday night.
Things are heating up for The Iceman!
This is a big step up for Jason Cunningham. He’s a bit of a monster, Zolani Tete, isn’t he?
He’s a very good boxer and a big puncher. Even when he got beaten against John Riel Casemiro for the world title, he was ahead in that fight before that big shot came out of nowhere and knocked him over. He’s a quality operator and he trains constantly, he’s a machine.
But Jason is a guy who’s done it the hard way. He’s not had one favour in boxing. Everything he’s done, he’s had to fight for and overcome adversity, from being in the away corner to now getting himself in the home corner. You have to take your hat off to him.
Journeymen make their careers out of testing people and I think at one stage people may have looked at Jason like that, destined to be that gatekeeper. He’s gone way above that now and he’s got the wherewithal and the boxing brain to take himself further and almost into world title contention.
He’s done extremely well and at 32, he’s got a wealth of experience in the ring now. He’s confident he can do something in this fight because if not, he wouldn’t have taken it. He reminds me of a little bit of Steve Robinson years ago, the old Cindarella man! If he wins this – and it’s a really tough fight – he’ll get a world title shot.
If I was Jason I’d take the fight to Zolani and try to put him on his back foot to negate the power. But when Zolani is on his game, he is unbelievable. He’s a class act.
He’s a Brit basher isn’t he, that’s what he’s made a name from over here! He fancies it too, he’s itching to get back in action and he’s looking to position himself to go for a world title in a third weight division.
I’m hoping all these issues with Tommy Fury will be ironed out by the time the fight comes around. It was a bit of a surprise to everybody to be honest. All Tommy’s dealings in his career have been solely with me and nobody else. I don’t really understand what’s happened.
Hopefully we can sort it out and that’s what we’re all working on at the moment. He’s a clean cut kid.
Before all this confusion happened though I was really pleased to see that Tommy has gone and linked up with Shane McGuigan for this fight, I think that’s a great match for him as a trainer.
I really fancy Tommy. It’s going to be the first time Jake Paul has ever fought a ‘proper’ fighter – a licensed boxer from a boxing background. Tommy’s confident too and I think we’ll get the job done.
Tyson taking his time
Tyson’s been having a bit of back and forth with [UFC heavyweight champion] Francis Ngannou on social media in the last week or so but nothing’s happening imminently as far as that fight goes.
Once Usyk vs Joshua 2 happens next month, we’ll know where we stand with everything and we’ll start to think about what the future might look like.