Tag Archives: Queensberry Promotions

Boxing returns to Royal Albert Hall

Boxing has returned to one of London’s most famous venues, the Royal Albert Hall, with Frank Warren’s Queensberry promotions.

The bill featured the return of highly-touted prospect Anthony Yarde, Daniel Dubois and British middleweight champion Liam Williams.

The grand old arena hosted many memorable British bouts throughout the 90s with fighters such as Frank Bruno and Prince Naseem Hamed, but has seen a massive reduction in fight nights.

This is the first card held in this prestigious hall for seven years and only the second since the turn of the millennium.

As with most fight nights, the masses didn’t enter the venue until the headliners came out. Despite the subdued atmosphere, the few fans that were present early on witnessed some amazing undercard bouts, including a destructive performance by British super-flyweight Harvey Horn.

The 23-year-old Londoner took his professional record to 5-0 with a terrific first-round knockout, and appears to have a bright future ahead of him.

The super-flyweight division is very competitive, but Horn have the talent and potential to upset the apple cart.

Harvey Horn after a explosive performance

Heir to AJ’s throne

As the night wore on, the fans slowly started to pile in, and the venue’s 5,000 seats began to fill. It was then the turn of heavyweight prospect Dubois to take to the ring.

Still only 21, the Greenwich-born fighter is already seen by many as the heir to Anthony Joshua’s throne, and was taking on former world title contender Ravzan Kajanu.

Dubios came out to prove a point, going to war from the first bell, which brought the entire arena to their feet. Both heavyweights were trading leather in the centre of the ring, but it was the Londoner who was getting better of the exchanges.

The British heavyweight showed absolutely no respect for Kajanu’s power and it was only a matter before he got the stoppage.

The animated crowd, wishing the war could go the distance, was left disappointed when Dubois stopped the experienced Romanian in the second round.

However, the fans didn’t have to wait long to witness more explosive action as the next contest, between Johnny Garton and Chris Jenkins, was easily the fight of the night.

Garton was defending his British welterweight belt in what was billed as a crossroads fight for him.

Is the South Londoner ready for world and European level fighters, or is he still better off at domestic level?

Despite these doubts, he was still seen as favourite to win the contest. However, Jenkins was looking to claim the title at the third time of asking, so wasn’t lacking in motivation.

Momentum

From the first bell, the champion was getting out-worked and it was clear that Jenkins had come for his belt. The Welsh fighter won plenty of new admirers as he dominated the champion and pressed the action.

However, as the bout entered its later stages, Garton started to take over and attempted to regain some momentum. The pair left it all in the ring until the final bell which triggered all in attendance to rise to their feet and applause.

Despite being a huge underdog, Jenkins rightfully won the contest by unanimous decision.

Emotions were running high after that contest, and reached fever pitch as the co-main event boxers came out. The No.1 British middleweight, Williams also had his British title on the line against Joe Mullender.

Despite the pre-fight chat billing this as a 50-50 fight, Williams refused to waste any time and went to work from the first round. Keen on putting the contest to bed early on, the Welshman, 26, got the stoppage late in the second round.

Ring rust

The final fight saw the No.1 prospect in the country in action as Yarde returned after five months out of the ring to take on America’s Travis Reeves.

Based on how the night had gone so far, the fans was expecting nothing but action from the start. Unfortunately, Yarde’s entrance was the only thing that brought the crowd to their feet.

‘The Beast’ definitely was trying to work off the ring rust and ease his way into a fight which wasn’t expected to go beyond two rounds, and this only served to dampen down the excited crowd.

It wasn’t until the fifth that Yarde started to push on and land clean shots. Unfortunately, for the eager audience, the fight was stopped before he really began firing off his deadly combinations.

Overall, the return to big-time boxing to the Royal Albert Hall was a big success, with some amazing action and an electrifying atmosphere. It raises the question, why isn’t this a regular venue for the sport?

The venerable arena, unlike others in London, wasn’t built upwards which allows everyone in attendance to get a great view of the action.

Its intimate seating arrangement makes it feels like the crowd is right on top of the ring, which creates a much better feel as a fan. Hopefully, this prestigious arena will host more nights like this and boxing doesn’t turn its back on a great place.

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.