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Frank Warren exclusive on Nick Ball, Nathan Heaney, and more

Frank Warren


Frank Warren exclusive on Nick Ball, Nathan Heaney, and more

Frank Warren exclusive on Nick Ball, Nathan Heaney, and more

“How am I? I’m pretty average,” Frank Warren told 32Red with a hint of understatement.

Last week, Warren was at the top table announcing the massive Day of Reckoning show featuring Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua and then the first undisputed heavyweight title fight since 1999 between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. He then put on a seven title fight mammoth event at Manchester’s AO Arena.

“Well that is average nowadays,” the Hall of Fame promoter laughed.

“It’s all looking good. We’ve had a great time with the announcements last week and we had a fantastic show on Saturday with some real, quality matches. Now we’ve got some shows coming up full of our youngsters.” For the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.

Last weekend’s Magnificent Seven bill in Manchester delivered plenty of excitement. Of the seven title fights, there were two outstanding battles – every boxing fan should watch the technical war for the British featherweight title between Nathaniel Collins and Zak Miller and the up-and-down thriller between European super bantamweight champion Liam Davies and Vincenzo La Femina – and three very good ones.

“Ball is tough, exciting, he’s a dynamo”

Frank Warren exclusive

Liverpool’s Nick Ball beat Isaac Dogboe to become the mandatory challenger for the WBC featherweight title. Unbeaten Ball has been one of the most exciting fighters operating in Britain over the past couple of years but last Saturday he proved himself to be one of the most accomplished. Ball was exciting and aggressive without being too reckless. It was the perfect way to introduce himself at world level.

“He’s got real controlled aggression. He’s a much better fighter than he’s given credit for. He got clipped a couple of times but he was in with a world class fighter and it was a final eliminator,” Warren said. “He’s very hard to nail and he’s a very good boxer. People don’t give him credit for that.

“He’s tough, he’s exciting and I think he must have a few Duracels in him because his work rate is tremendous. He’s a dynamo. I think he’s done brilliantly and I think his trainer, Paul Stevenson, has done a really good job with him.”

The WBC title picture is a bit murky. Rey Vargas holds the full title while Brandon Figueroa is the interim champion. Ball won’t get his shot until that is sorted out but Warren isn’t going to let him sit on the shelf going stale. When his chance does come, Warren will do all he can to secure home advantage for the Liverpudlian.

“Both Denzel & Nathan are fabulous guys”

Frank Warren exclusive

“We’ll keep him busy, that’s the name of the game with him and that’s all I’m gonna do. Keep him busy because he needs to be,” Warren said.

“We will look to get everything as an advantage for him. We want to get him going in Liverpool because he’s got the style people want to see. He’s an exciting fighter.

The night built to a crescendo. Nathan Heaney produced one of the biggest British shocks of 2023 by beating Denzel Bentley for the British middleweight title. The underdog from Stoke stuck to his game plan rigidly from the opening bell. Heaney was always expected to show heart and fight with determination but he boxed better than ever before and made sure to fire back whenever an out-of-sorts Bentley did find the mark.

“They’re two Queensberry fighters. We’re proud to promote them both, they’re a great advert for the sport and they’re fabulous guys. It’s a shame there has to be a loser,” said Warren. “I thought Denzel was really off but I just don’t think Nathan let him settle down. He boxed really intelligently, he worked his jab and had a lot of head movement. He’d obviously done his homework.

“I think everyone was waiting for what would happen when Denzel landed a big shot but Nathan just didn’t let him. He didn’t let him settle down. I thought he boxed really well.

“Go back to Denzel’s world title fight [v WBO champion Zhanibek Alimkhanuly]. If he hadn’t messed about in those first four rounds he’d have been a world champion and Nathan gave him a much tougher fight than the world champion.”

“Chamberlain and Turner are both in decent fights”

Heaney has accomplished one dream and moved a massive step closer to accomplishing his next which is to fight in front of his fellow Stoke fans at the city’s football stadium. Heaney has now proven himself worthy of such an event and that is Warren’s target for 2024.

“He’s not a youngster. He wants to be busy and we’ll keep him busy. Hopefully Stoke City will go with us to do a world title or a massive fight there because he deserves it.”

The roadshow continues in London this Friday. Heavy handed lightweight Mark Chamberlain will be aiming to produce another eye catching knockout when he fights Artoms Ramlavs and unbeaten super lightweight prospect, Henry Turner, takes the latest step towards the British title when he takes on Billy Allington who took holder Dalton Smith the distance in February.

“They’re both in decent fights and they’re a step away from what was happening in Manchester last week,” said Warren. “That’s where they’ll be next year. For the time being we’ll keep stepping them up. We’ve put a lot of work in to get them into their positions and I want to see some good performances and we can get them up and running for bigger fights next year. There’s some great fights to be made amongst the fighters at Queensberry.”

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