Frank Warren has been involved in so many deals over the past few weeks, Jim White and his yellow tie were almost called in to announce them.
As well as extending contracts for some of his stable’s promising young fighters, Warren launched a record bid to win the purse bid for the massive heavyweight title clash between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte, followed that up with a massive show of support to secure home advantage for Zach Parker in his crucial super middleweight title fight with Demetrius Andrade and is counting down the days until he can throw his hat into the ring to host Daniel Dubois’ attempt to gatecrash the heavyweight title scene against Trevor Bryant.
85,000 tickets sold inside three hours
The Hall of Fame promoter must be walking to the office with a real spring in his step at the moment.
“I’m trying to at my age,” Warren told 32Red.
Fury and Whyte was always destined to be a hot ticket but having gone as big as possible and booking Wembley Stadium, despite the excitement surrounding the fight there must have been a slight knot in Warren’s stomach when the event went on sale. For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
There was nothing to worry about. 85,000 seats were sold inside three hours. Fury has always had the X-Factor but his thrilling trilogy with Deontay Wilder has catapulted him into public consciousness.
“We sold all the tickets. We’ve even sold all the coach packages,” Warren said. “Now we’re waiting to see if we can get an extra 10,000 tickets to take it up to 100,000 capacity. We’re delighted. That side of things is going well. We’re just disappointed with the lack of help we’ve had and the lack of respect we’ve had from Dillian Whyte. It’s unacceptable and I don’t think he’s done himself any favours.”
“This is all about Tyson Fury”
Whyte’s decision to shun all pre-fight promotional work hasn’t exactly stopped people talking about the fight but it did mean that the promotion didn’t get to kick off with the traditional head to head photograph. Boxing has embraced modern technology as it looks to promote new stars and create must see events but a good old fashioned nose to nose is still the best promotional tool.
“We had a negotiation period, that didn’t work and I didn’t set the purse percentages. That’s all based on their previous earnings,” Warren said. He’s got four million [if he wins] and then we kept getting asked for more upside and they asked for half the ringside tickets. What planet are these people on?
“You do what Usyk did. He took 20% and beat Anthony Joshua and now he’ll get more money. He has a pedigree background too. You do what Tyson did when he went to fight Klitschko. He took the short end of the stick against Wilder. Even what Joshua did. He took eight times less to fight Charles Martin. You do these things. There are no options or anything.
“This is all about Tyson though. It’s his first fight in the UK for four years and he had three tremendous fights over in the States. If we hadn’t sold out on the strength of that then I’d have got it terribly wrong.”
“Zach Parker is a quality operator”
If Fury v Whyte was a safe bet, winning the bid to host the Interim WBO super middleweight title fight between Parker and Andrade is more of a calculated gamble. Andrade is an accomplished two-weight world champion and Parker is yet to crack world level but this isn’t another fight between a plucky British challenger and his more talented American opponent.
Parker is the bigger man and has real power but he has shown himself to be a talented boxer with an outstanding jab. Andrade shows flashes of genuine world class but can also look lacklustre, sometimes within the space of a round. This will also be his debut at 168lbs as he looks to force a high paying fight with Canelo Alvarez. The timing might be perfect for Parker to spring a major upset.
“What we needed was every edge for Zach. I’d have preferred him not to have gone to the States so we made a conscious decision. I’d not seen anything of him before we signed him but, since then, what I have seen I’ve really liked. I think he’s a quality operator. I think he’s the best in Europe at his weight.
“He’s a big, big super middleweight and this other fella is coming up. He’s a good fighter Andrade, don’t get me wrong, and I was disappointed for Liam Williams who I thought would have given him more of a fight but was out of the game from the start.
“I feel that with home advantage Zach’s got an excellent, excellent chance. He’s a good fighter there’s no doubt about it. He’s got a fight now that can catapult him into the big time.”
“This is a test for Chris Bourke, no doubt”
The schedule gets underway tonight. The vacant British super bantamweight title is on the line when Chris Bourke and Marc Leach meet at York Hall. For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
Bourke has become something of a staple on BT Sport and although he has been beating good fighters and collecting minor title belts, this is his chance to make a real mark.
“Chris is topping the bill and there’s a bit of pressure on him and this is a test for him. There’s no doubt about that.”
Nontheless, if Bourke is to hit the heights those around him expect, he needs to beat the likes of Leach. “Absolutely,” said Warren. “That’s exactly right.”