Frank Warren Challenges Eddie Hearn: Fury Vs Joshua, Whyte Vs Dubois, Joyce Vs Chisora
Frank Warren has laid down an ambitious bid to Eddie Hearn's Matchroom camp for a blockbuster series of cross-promotional fights, including heavyweights Dillian Whyte vs Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce vs Dereck Chisora.
The Queensberry promoter admitted to SPORTbible that: "In the past, I've been as guilty of not getting some fights on as much as Matchroom have. So we're both as bad as each other regarding that!"
But when news broke of a two-fight deal to match Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua in 2021 - should both win their next bouts - it was a sign that perhaps the rival companies can join forces in the right circumstances.
These fights :heart_eyes:
If Queensberry boxers went up against Matchroom boxers this year we'd be in for a treat :fire::flag_gb: pic.twitter.com/GxO2dYHPTd
- Boxing on BT Sport (@BTSportBoxing) August 4, 2020
"This is the moment in time now to make these fights happen," insists Warren. "We're blessed with a wealth of fighting talent in this country.
"Can we all just park our egos up? Put all the bulls**t of the past away. These things can be done - they can get made. If everybody just sat round a table, BT and Sky get on board, and we're there.
"We've written to Adam Smith [head of boxing] at Sky and said, let's try and make these happen. I'm sure Sky would want this - and actually, why wouldn't Matchroom want it?"
The proposed list of super-fights is mouthwatering, from big-punching light-heavyweights Anthony Yarde and Josh Buatsi to world-level super-flyweights Kal Yafai and Charlie Edwards.
Queensberry vs Matchroom...
BT vs Sky...
Who wants it?!? pic.twitter.com/VMk7DoJlnn
- Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) August 4, 2020
Yet there will be those who fear a cross-promotional agreement is unlikely - and that if it was going to happen, it would be arranged behind the scenes, as the Fury-Joshua deal initially was, rather than via public invitation. Warren strongly denies that.
"We can do this!" he insists. "It's a phone call. People act like we've never dealt with each other before, but that's not true.
"Billy Joe Saunders, we made that fight with John Ryder. Josh Warrington, when he was with us, against Kid Galahad when he was with them. We've made quite a few fights, so it's bulls**t to say we haven't dealt with each other - we have.
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"We've had a few of our guys go and fight on their shows. So I haven't got a problem with that... And I don't mind how we do it. They do some, we do some - or we promote them jointly. I don't care how it works, as long as we get it done."
Whether these are fantasy fights or a tantalising glimpse into the future, it will get people talking about who might win the proposed contests - with Hearn saying "there's no reason why we can't discuss it" in his initial response.
Naturally, Warren sees things a certain way. "I believe we've got the best talent in the country, from Tyson Fury at the top downwards," he says.
"Having said that, I'm sure they think they have the best too - but there's an easy way to find out and that's to make the fights. We need to put our promotional differences aside, our opinions aside, and just make it work. There's no reason why this can't be done."
The fights look fairly evenly matched, except perhaps for Dubois versus White. That would pit a top prospect against a seasoned, world-level heavyweight 10 years his senior. Yet Warren insists he wouldn't worry about throwing 'Dynamite' in with 'The Bodysnatcher'.
"I'd be confident," he says, "and I was reading today someone saying, 'Well, Dillian has got bigger fights to make than Daniel.' What bigger fights? There's only one - and that's against Tyson Fury. And that's not happening until Tyson has had his rematch with Deontay Wilder and, let's get it right, after that the public wants Tyson to have the AJ fight. Everybody does.
"So while we're waiting for that to play out, let's do Daniel Dubois against Dillian Whyte. This is about top-quality British fights - and then the winner of that would be the natural to fight the winner of Tyson and Joshua."
It's an amazing prospect, though whether it comes together remains to be seen. The sporting year 2020 has been utterly unpredictable - would a cross-promotional Matchroom-Queensberry mega-card live from both Hearn's garden and BT Sport studios really be so crazily out there? Only time will tell.
All imagery: PA Images
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