Tag Archives: Frank Warren

Fury is true heavyweight king, not Joshua, says Frank Warren

When Anthony Joshua defended his world heavyweight titles against Carlos Takam at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, the biggest indoor crowd in boxing history cheered the British fighter to victory.

But one spectator who was slightly more restrained in his excitement was veteran promoter Frank Warren. Whilst he admires Joshua, Warren says he is not the fighter some fans would have you believe – and he believes the real king of the ring is former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who has already made it clear he wants a crack at the champion.

‘Joshua’s got plenty of heart, but he gets hit. He gets caught. So there is a chink there in that armour, and he’s got a long way to go’

Warren has been the UK’s biggest boxing promoters for over three decades. His list of fighters contains a who’s who of former world champions such as Ricky Hatton, Prince Naseem Hamed, Nigel Benn, and Joe Calzaghe to name a few. Currently, he promotes stars like Billy Joe Saunders, James DeGale and, of course, Fury.

Last weekend it was all about Eddie Hearn and his number one guy, the WBA, IBF, and IBO World heavyweight champion Joshua, who defeated Takam via a 10th-round technical knockout.

Matchroom Sports promoter Hearn’s show made a statement with all tickets sold and a massive pay-per-view audience watching on TV.

But what did Warren, as someone who has been involved in many of the biggest events in British boxing history, what make of the evening?

“Well, quality wise, I thought the undercard was very average. I don’t think it was great. Takam fought much better than I anticipated. I based it on the facts of having seen the fight against Joseph Parker, who I thought handled him better,” commented Warren.

‘He’s no Ali’

Warren has previously promoted former world champion Fury, who called out Joshua on Twitter following his latest fight. And whilst he admits ‘AJ’ is a good fighter, he says he is no way comparable to some of the all-time greats, as is cheerleaders would have you believe.

“Anthony Joshua for me is a very good heavyweight. I’ve always admired him. He’s a big puncher, he’s got plenty of heart, but he gets hit. He gets caught. So there is a chink there in that armour, and he’s got a long way to go.

‘The number one heavyweight, as soon as he gets his license back, is Tyson Fury’

“Had [Evander] Holyfield been there and catching Anthony Joshua, it would have been lights out. You can’t compare Anthony to Muhammad Ali as some people have in some quarters. Ali had a great chin, and we are talking about Muhammad Ali. I’m quite sure it must embarrass Anthony when people make those comparisons,” stated Warren

The fact, just as Warren pointed out, is that due to his exciting style, Joshua does get clipped at times.

“There are times when he looks vulnerable. He’s won the fight, don’t get me wrong, but he can be caught. [Wladimir] Klitschko [who floored Joshua in their world title fight in April 2017] had him out.

“Klitschko, being a safety first fighter, let him off the hook. Somebody who is a good finisher… who knows what would have happened? He [Joshua] is exciting from that point of view and he will be a part of exciting fights,” Warren continued.

‘Tyson’s number one’

Fury is currently stuck in a battle with the British Boxing Board of Control and UK Anti-Doping after testing positive for a banned substance in October 2016. Fury admitted using cocaine while suffering with depression.

‘The Gypsy King’ was stripped of his titles and his boxing licence was suspended by the board. Fury’s legal team are currently setting up a date for the final hearing with UKAD which might happen in January according to Warren.

“The number one heavyweight, as soon as he gets his license back, is Tyson Fury,” the promoter asserted. “He will get his license back eventually and, more importantly, he’s got to get himself fit and well. And then we’ll see where it all goes.

“I think Tyson needs to get a couple of fights under his belt. Get the ring rust out and be ready to go.”

Should Joshua-Fury come to fruition in 2018, it would certainly be the biggest British heavyweight boxing fight of all time.

Langford confident of world title win over Khurtsidze

Elephant Sport’s Dan Kelly caught up with reigning British middleweight champion, Tommy Langford ahead of his WBO interim world title fight against Avtandil Khurtsidze.

The formidable Georgian will fight in the UK for the first time in his career on April 22nd and the 37 year-old brings with him a list of 21 names he has previously KO’d.

But ‘Baggies Bomber’ Langford tells us why he is confident that he will have more than Khurtsidze can handle when they step into the ring at Leicester Arena.

Birmingham-based Langford, promoted by Frank Warren, also gives us an update on the training regime that he feels will give him the edge over the ‘mini-Mike Tyson’, as well as providing an insight into what Warren’s landmark deal with BT Sport means for his own ambitions, as well as the sport of boxing.

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Langford puts clash with ‘deluded’ Eubanks behind him

New British middleweight champion Tommy Langford admits he was glad to see the back of Chris Eubank Jr in the build-up to the title fight that never was.

He had been due to compete for Eubank’s Lonsdale belt until the latter pulled out, relinquishing his title and leaving Langford with a battle to find suitable competition for the bout.

All was well that ended well for Langford, however, as he dispatched of Sam Sheedy, Eubank’s replacement, to claim the British crown for the first time.

Despite the sweetness of victory, dealing with the Eubanks – both Jr and his father Chris Sr – left a bad taste in the mouth for the 27 year-old.

“To be honest with you, I’m glad to be rid of them,” said the ‘Baggies Bomber’.

“They were really hard to deal with, they wouldn’t turn up to press conferences and didn’t conduct themselves right in my eyes in the build-up to the fight.

“So I just think I’m better off rid of them and I think that British boxing and the British public is better off not having anything to do with them.”

‘Banana skin’

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Langford (left) poses with West Brom skipper Darren Fletcher with the Commonwealth and Intercontinental belts. Pic tommylangford.co.uk.

The Eubanks cited an elbow injury sustained in sparring as one reason for Chris Jr pulling out of the fight, however they went on to spark controversy by claiming the ‘vast chasm’ in quality between himself and other fighters would put contenders at risk of serious injury.

Many, due to the life-threatening injuries sustained by Nick Blackwell at the hands of Eubank Jr as the pair contested the British title in March, deemed this insensitive.

Blackwell has since had to retire from the sport after spending time in a coma, however Langford feels that the Eubank camp’s comments bear no relevance to his own ability to compete.

“Well, I think they’re just absolutely deluded, really,” he said.

“They know how the sparring went when I went down and sparred him, and they know I’m a very good fighter. They knew I was someone they needed to avoid.

“I’m not saying they were worried about fighting me, I know they’re hugely arrogant and believe they’ll beat everybody and every fighter needs to be confident and have a certain level of arrogance. So I’m not saying they were scared of fighting me.

‘Laughable’

“But what I do think is that I was a massive banana skin to them for their earning potential of fighting bigger fights.

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The Eubanks father and son team are a controversial pairing. Pic @ChrisEubankJr

“I could ruin the Eubank gravy train, if you know what I mean. I know that’s why they didn’t want the fight.

When I was signed to [promoter] Frank Warren, they said they’d fight anybody, but they didn’t want to fight me. There was a list of fighters they didn’t want to fight and I was top.

“So I know the ins and outs of it all and I know that’s the case and I just think they’re absolutely stupid.

“Eubank Sr’s comments about his son being so far above and beyond the British domestic scene is just laughable really, because now his son’s ended up moving up to super-middleweight and fighting for an IBO title against someone who has won 11 and lost 1.

“I was 17-0 when they were talking about fighting me and I’m still undefeated. And it was for a prestigious title. I’m number two in the WBO rankings so by rights that fight would have made one of us mandatory for the WBO world title.”

Big paydays

So after the saga of a potential fight with Eubank Jr this time around, has Langford washed his hands of his middleweight counterpart once and for all?

For the Birmingham-based British champion, big-name fights mean nothing without titles on the line.

“Names don’t matter – if you stack up the titles and stack up the wins then you’re the man”

“You never say ‘never’,” he admitted. “Ultimately, if he’s still about and he’s still doing the things he’s doing and there’s big money on the line, you don’t turn down big paydays, although they seem to have done that.

“But until that happens, no I’m not interested in them. I’m not lowering myself to fight him, I’m going after bigger and better things and I won’t bother with him.

“Ultimately now, what’s he got?” asked Devon-born Langford.

“He’s not got the British title, he’s not got the Commonwealth title, and he’s not got a European or world title.

“So he’s title-less and he’s forfeited his right to call himself a champion. I’ve got the Commonwealth, the British, number 2 in the WBO and I’m looking at European and World title shots.

“Names don’t matter – if you stack up the titles and stack up the wins then you’re the man.”

Main image courtesy of tommylangford.co.uk Follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_Langford1