“I won’t change anything” – Yalla Match

The year Frank Warren turned 70, Declan Warrington had the chance to sit down with the legendary promoter and make him reflect on his career.

To celebrate Frank Warren’s 70th birthday and four decades of boxing, the Boxing Book Club hosted a luncheon with the promoter as the featured guest. After reading a tribute to Don King, he duly revisits his life as one of sport’s most influential figures – and his memories of working with Tyson Fury, Joe Calzaghi, Ricky Hatton, Prince Naseem Hamed, The King, Bob Arum, and more.

Which of all the fighters you upgraded gave you the most satisfaction?

Warren: Tyson Fury gave me the most satisfaction, because of where he came from. He was a complete pariah, as far as boxing was concerned. He was in the depths of despair, his weight was about 28 degrees – everyone had abandoned him. I sat down with him, looked him in the eye and knew he was hungry there, the need to box. Boxing saved him. If it hadn’t been for boxing – he could have killed himself – boxing gave him direction, and it was a privilege to be a part of it. He was 28th – he lost 11th – and the rest is history. I really enjoyed it – I was very lucky. He’s a unique character. It’s once.

..and the most disappointing?

Warren: There is aging in boxing. “Don’t fall in love with a fighter”. They may start to believe the hype. The biggest disappointment is a guy named Tony Collins, a lightweight Yateley in the late 80s. At 18 he turned pro, and I remember seeing him bickering with Lloyd Hannigan, who had just won the title world or was fighting for the world title. Lloyd Hannigan stood on his head. It happens sometimes in combat, but they came back the next day, and Hannigan was clearly looking forward to… doing the same thing again. He turned pro, had a few wins, but was a bad boy outside of the ring. He didn’t live his life and he always had a problem – fight week was stopped and we had to get him out of jail. It was just a total waste of his career, and I really think it could have been one of our best. Talent takes you far. Dedication and commitment get you across the line, and he had neither.

Who would you most like to promote?

Warren: [Muhammad] On. He would outclass me. There is a scene in the When we were kings – It’s a great, great movie – Ali talks to all the reporters, and [eventually] The conversation ran out of steam. He says, “I’m going to bed”; Five minutes later, he turns his head towards the door and wants to speak. I thought to myself, “This is Muhammad Ali – what does it do for a boxer to do anything?” The greatest fighter in the world has made himself available to all. He was a man of the people. Some men now turn away from themselves. Tyson Fury is the man of the people – he was at the bar in his shirt the last time I saw…

If you could change one thing – perhaps the result of a fight or negotiation – what would it be?

Warren: I wouldn’t change anything. Everything happens because of. Whatever happens, take advantage of the situation, learn from the situation and move on. I wish I didn’t bark [when I got shot] just one night…[laughs]. But you move on to the next battle.

What’s the biggest fight you’ve ever promoted?

Warren: Every year you participate in something big. [Joe] Kalzaghi and Jeff Lacey [in 2006] What a wonderful night. He was extremely undernourished – and most didn’t give him a chance. I really imagined it. They should have fired Jeff Lacey, but it was a great night. Calzaghi vs. [Mikkel] Kesler [in 2007] Kessler is really good. It was a great night – a great night of boxing. Three different fights with Tyson – I always come back to Tyson – [and Deontay Wilder]The nights have been great, every one of them, and the last [in 2021, after 2018 and 2020]For a heavyweight fight I have been and seen, what an amazing night.

Ricky Hatton -[Kostya] Tszyu [in 2005]. oozing [Naseem Hamed], when we took him to Madison Square Garden and he fought Kevin Kelly. This fight was very exciting – they were up and down like anything. No Brit has promoted a Madison Square Garden fight. It’s been about eight days [actually six] before Christmas [in 1997] “You’ll make your money,” Bob Arum said, and the highest win at featherweight was at the Garden. I was lucky. I’m lucky – I’m from social flats in Islington. I never thought I would do these things for a minute. I was very lucky, in a sport I never thought I would be involved in. I remember watching Muhammad Ali fight Cleveland Williams on TV, and I was totally mesmerized to see this handsome, athletic, curvaceous black man doing the mix… Bob Arum; without the king; I had the best life.

Warren with Ricky Hatton in 2001 after Hatton beat Freddy Pendleton (Gary M.

Do you plan to emulate and improve on Bob Arum and Don King when you’re 90?

Warren: No. Please God, I’m alive at 90. But no. That’s not what I’m looking to do.

When Gerald McClellan fought Nigel Bean, did you know something was wrong?

Warren: Everyone thought he would fire Nigel. It was one of the most brutal, tragic and compelling fights I have ever promoted. You were all standing in your chairs watching it – I’ve never seen anything like it – it was just electric.

Before the fight, he fired Manny Steward, who had trained and managed him, and brought in these two men. They all thought it would be a formality – get in the ring and knock Nigel down. Honestly, first round, hey [essentially] she did it. The referee could have stopped it, but he let it happen. With the fight going on, and he was blinking, I’m sure an experienced trainer would have looked and said, “Something’s wrong here,” and I hope he pulls it off.

Then we were in the hospital – he had a blood clot in his brain – and the guy in the sailor hat came in. the coach [Stan Johnson]. Don King and I were sitting there, and he said to Don King, “I can’t do anything for him, I’m going home tomorrow, can I get paid?” Then he said to Don, “Gerald is a bad guy, he beats me. It was a strange conversation. Don said, “Who’s the other guy in the corner?” “He met him in a dogfight two weeks ago. He was betting on a fight. Gerald’s dog got hit, he went to his car, he went to the glove compartment, he took a gun and shot the dog, then he opened the trunk and pulled out another dog for another fight, and they became good friends.” It was like a horror story. Don King said to him, “Well, how much should you get?” “Five thousand dollars.” Five thousand dollars! But that’s what he did he brought in a guy for $5,000, instead of having a real coach there – someone who could have made a difference and could have pulled him out of this fight. This referee could have stopped this fight in the first round and nobody was going to complain, but he didn’t, and it continued. But I don’t blame the reference. When he started to knees and blinked so hard – at that moment you could see that something was wrong. [the trainer] Unable to pick it up so there is a problem.

Would you give Anthony Joshua a chance in Saudi Arabia against Oleksandr Usyk?

Warren: He’s got a punch – I don’t see him beating him. Usyek came against [Derek] Chisora ​​and [Chazz] Witherspoon, and he didn’t seem exceptional in any of those fights, and I thought [Joshua] It would be too big for him. I thought he would control his fight with a jab as the bigger guy and keep it on the outside. But what happened, as it unfolded, was that the young man attacked and kicked him outside. He was boxed on demand, and the last round, the angle could have brought the towel down. If it’s the eleventh round, it’s over everywhere. [Usyk] He told the translator that he had been told not to withdraw it. This time he knows he can bring it down, and more importantly [Joshua’s] You don’t get the house edge. He is in a neutral position. He is a consumer specialist.

If I’m right, could the fight between Joshua and Fury continue?

Warren: Yeah, people will buy that. All day long. It’s a story – people will accept it. Tyson’s head and shoulders are above them right now. I don’t want him to retire, and the reason I don’t want him to retire is because I don’t want him to come back in two or three years and he’s at his peak now. Every day a different story [with Tyson] And you walk with it. Nobody will tell him anything – that’s what he wants to do.

If you had continued to promote Ricky Hatton, would you have paired him with Floyd Mayweather?

Warren: Yeah – I think it would have happened sooner. Ricky was in an unfortunate situation. He beat pound for pound #1 [Tszyu]. They all thought it was going to be hard work, but I’m a big believer in timing. We agreed to fight in January and the fighting continued through the summer. If not for Mayweather and [Manny] Pacquiao was going to rule for a while, but they were great fighters, not just for this era, but the outstanding fighters of their generation. I had taken it in a slightly different direction; We had fights, but I don’t think there was any difference in the results. They were too good for him. It could have been the same [outcome if Mayweather-Hatton happened in the UK] – The money was in Vegas.

It’s a fictional fight, but Mayweather would have been too big for the Nas. There was a moment when I thought anyone we could meet would have done something. But then he stopped training. At that time we were in Atlantic City [for the Wayne McCullough fight in 1998]He was out of control – Adam Smith started crying he was so rude to you [Colin Hart] I would shoot him and talk to him. His father was a nice man, but the reason he got out of hand was because of his brothers. It was crazy. The characters on boxing are amazing.

How do you feel when people describe Daniel Dubois as abandonment?

Warren: It’s too bad. He broke four bones in his eye socket – he can’t see. In UFC or MMA, they click if they get hurt. Man cannot see. You throw punches, your eyesight is so bad you miss, the punches are coming your way, you can’t get out of the way. He did the right thing. He’s young. I received a written report – the doctor said that if he had worn it, he would have [risked] Retinal detachment and blindness in one eye. It was in front of the dashboards.

Have you ever seen yourself co-promoting with Eddie Hearn?

Warren: So [Joshua] Win a title again, yes. if Oh the victories.

By facing ‘The Cartel’, do you think you got a better deal with the British boxers?

Warren: At that time, BBC TV was the only game in town, and the cartel [of Terry Lawless, Jarvis Astaire, Mickey Duff and Mike Barrett] It was the only game in town. Terry Lawless was a good coach. If he had told his fighters “I’m part of the promotion” that would have been fair enough, but a lot of fighters weren’t even aware of it. He and Jarvis said in A [British] Boxing Control Board session, “You’re a manager and a promoter”, and I said, “Yeah, but the fighters know that”, and that’s the difference. It’s been different times and a different era – and that doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong.

What do you want your legacy to be?

Warren: I just want my kids [Francis, George and Christine] Be happy and be proud of me. That’s all I care about. Everyone – someone here will say I’m an old bump and someone else will say I’m an anal piercing. It’s the world. I think I opened doors, made it easier for other people through promotion, and got the TV companies involved – so much so that it’s now on five or six channels. There was no live boxing [when I was starting]. And: “He liked a glass of wine.”