Frank Warren has fired a shot towards bitter rival Eddie Hearn after Paul Butler’s world title success last Saturday.
Butler’s victory over Stuart Hall for the IBF bantamweight title ensured Warren once again has a world champion in his stable, ending one of the largest barren spells of his lengthy career to date.
Many boxers of late have defected over to Hearn’s company Matchroom Sports: Nathan Cleverly, Ricky Burns, George Groves and Kell Brook, to name but a few, are fighters that have crossed the promotional borders in boxing’s very own turf-war.
Only ‘The Jackal’ Carl Frampton has defected from Hearn to Warren, bearing fruits of bucking the trend by lining up a world title fight against Kiko Martinez.
Speaking at a post-fight press conference, Warren made a comment that appeared to directly refer to Hearn: “I love being involved at boxers from the start of their career, I love helping to guide them to make the right moves. We invest at the ground level, put our money and experience in – we don’t go around nicking fighters.
“I’ve had faith in Paul from day one, I always thought Paul had what it takes to become a world champion. He’s done it in his 16th fight, which is a great feat.
“This has been a fantastic night and I’m pleased that we are where we are.”
He has been without a champion since Cleverly was destroyed by Sergey Kovalev in August 2013, but now wants to add more belts immediately and make up for lost time.
Warren stoked the feud directly after fight night, releasing a statement telling of his intention to offer a ‘unification’ bout between Butler and Jamie McDonnell.
The latter won his belt on the Carl Froch-George Groves undercard at Wembley Stadium, but it was a WBA ‘regular’ belt. Panamanian Anselmo Moreno is the WBA’s ‘super’ champion, therefore succeeding McDonnell and rendering the term unification as redundant.
Who McDonnell’s promoter/manager is remains unclear as he is under a contract dispute of his own. Having lost his old IBF belt for failing to face a mandatory, McDonnell jumped ship from Dennis Hobson Promotions over to Matchroom Sports. Hobson still doubts the legitimacy of the move, alludes to himself as McDonnell’s promoter/manager and is undertaking legal proceedings to rectify the situation.
Warren is no stranger to promotional wars having been through one with Barry Hearn, Eddie’s Dad and predecessor at Matchroom, during the 1990’s. Colin McMillan’s loss of his WBO featherweight belt left him with no headline acts, but he remained in business and recovered to become Britain’s leading promoter.
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