What Is Frank Warren’s Plan To Bring Boxing Back To The UK?
Looking at the coronavirus situation closely, Frank Warren is ready to bring boxing back to the United Kingdom.
The Queensberry Promotions promoter spoke with ESPN about returning to action in July when the British Boxing Board of Control expects to lift restrictions currently being placed. To start things off, no crowds will be inside the arenas, and fights will be staged inside the BT Sport Studios in East London. ESPN+ will be producing events for the United States while BT Sport will showcase events in the United Kingdom.
Warren will look to produce one show a week and is hoping to eventually move to bigger arenas.
“We’re looking to start the second week of July and we are going to kick off with British title fights and then do a show every week,” Warren stated. “After six shows we will see whether we will do more shows behind closed doors or if something gets lifted by then and we can do shows before the general public again.”
Warren would be trying to beat rival promotion Matchroom Boxing, which is expected to return to action in late July. Eddie Hearn is currently working on bringing fights to Matchroom’s U.K. office. He is calling it “Matchroom Fight Camp“, which would be in his former backyard.
Bob Arum is currently hosting events in Las Vegas for Top Rank. One difference between the two promotions, via Warren, is the promise of title fights. A British, Commonwealth and European Heavyweight Title clash between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce was supposed to take place in April but was postponed due to the coronavirus. Now, it is expected to take place sometime in July. An issue with some fighters and promoters has been whether they can perform with or without fans.
“If we have a problem with it, they [Dubois, Joyce] will have to make a decision on whether they want to box behind closed doors or wait,” Warren went on to say. “Boxers at certain stages of their careers don’t want to box behind closed doors and I understand that but at the moment I can’t tell them when they can fight again in front of fans.”
The BT Sport Studios have been used more for press conferences compared to fights. Warren will look to comply with whatever safety guidelines the BBBofC hand over to him. If fans are allowed eventually, then Warren will look to do whatever it takes to make his events and boxing in the U.K. successful again.
“We could do it [boxing behind closed doors] tomorrow,” said Warren. “One thing we have had a lot of recently is time, so we have been able to prepare for it. We have worked very hard on it and the British Boxing Board of Control has been very good.”