Interview w/ Frank Warren: “Life Is Like Boxing, Brush The Dirt off And Fight On”
By Ezio Prapotnich
Some people like him, some people don’t, but, if you are involved at any level in professional boxing in the UK, fact is that soon or later you will have to acknowledge his presence. Whether they like to admit it or not, icons like Naseem Hamed , Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe or current champions like Amir Khan would have not reached stardom without him and he gave us some of the best fights of the last 20 years. To say that Warren Promotions is the number 1 force in British boxing is as hyperbolic a statement as to say that the grass is green. We had the pleasure to meet the man behind the legend. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Mr Frank Warren…
Boxinginsider.com: How do you evaluate John Murray¹s performance in his Sky debut?
FRANK WARREN: It was a good work-out to get rid of the rust, although he made hard work of it. He¹s got Kevin Mitchell next and that will be a totally different fight.
Boxinginsider.com: What chances do you see realistically for Enzo Maccarinelli as a Light Heavyweight?
FRANK WARREN: He has to have his comeback first and then we¹ll see where he goes from there.
Boxinginsider.com: When you go to a football match, or other mainstream sports events, you usually see a more varied crowd than at boxing matches. At football, you see children, families, girls, people who do not necessarily understand all the technicalities of the game or know in details the history of the team but just enjoy a good time. A boxing crowd is usually made of hard core fan who live for the sport. From a promoting point of view, what changes would you recommend to draw in the general public?
FRANK WARREN: We have noticed that our audience is quite a young crowd, who would probably go on to a bar or a club after a show. These fans are more likely to use social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, so we promoted heavily in these media to attract them.
Boxinginsider.com: What is your view on Prizefighter? Is it good or bad for boxing? Is it a type of exposure you advise for any of your fighters?
FRANK WARREN: Prizefighter doesn¹t appeal to me personally.I don’t like seeing former world champions reduced to fight in it.
Boxinginsider.com: What was your biggest/proudest night so far as a promoter?
FRANK WARREN: I¹ve had plenty of great nights: Joe Calzaghe¹s super-middleweight unification contest against Mikkel Kessler at the Millennium Stadium; guiding Ricky Hatton to the best night of his career against Kostya Tszyu; taking Frank Bruno to the world heavyweight title; one regret is that , although he achieved a lot, Nazeem Hamed could have done a lot more.
Boxinginsider.com: How do you feel about matching two fighters from your own stable against each other, like Murray and Mitchell for example? Maloney hates it while it¹s common practice for Bob Arum. Is it a kind of matchmaking that you prefer to avoid unless it is forced by regulation or economic circumstances? And when it happens, do you find hard to pick one over the other?
FRANK WARREN: I¹ve done it many times in the past and it will happen in the future. When the business calls for it, it has to happen. Mitchell and Murray are doing it in a couple of weeks and then Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew could happen down the line.
Boxinginsider.com: What is your pound for pound top 3 in the current UK scene?
FRANK WARREN: Carl Froch, Nathan Cleverly and John Murray.
Boxinginsider.com: And in the world scene?
FRANK WARREN: Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather and Bernard Hopkins.
Boxinginsider.com: What is your favorite fighter and fight of all times?
FRANK WARREN: Sugar Ray Leonard is my favorite fighter. As far as fights go, Hagler-Hearns, plus Morales-Barrera 1, which I co-promoted with Bob Arum.
Boxinginsider.com: Boxing aside, what are your main interests or hobbies in life? How do you like to spend your free time?
FRANK WARREN: I like to read and listen to music.
Boxinginsider.com: What are the dynamics of your working relationship with a fighter? Do they rely on you totally for career choices and tactics or is it more of a mutual cooperation where decisions are made together?
FRANK WARREN: They rely on my judgment to select the right opponent for them in their career.
Boxinginsider.com: Can you share a lesson you learned in boxing that is also true in life?
FRANK WARREN: Like in boxing, in life you get knocked down, but you have to pick yourself up, brush the dirt off and fight on.
Boxinginsider.com: Which criteria does a fighter need to meet in order for you to sign him? Or do you choose by gut feeling?
FRANK WARREN: Gut feeling mainly. But, there are special talents that you can spot, like Naseem Hamed for example.
Boxinginsider.com: Could you give us any indiscretions about what will be Nathan Cleverly and James DeGale next steps?
FRANK WARREN: Nathan will defend his world title in September and there will be big title news for DeGale shortly.
Warren Promotions next event will take place on the 16th of July at Liverpool Echo arena, featuring the WBO Super Featherweight championship Ricky Burns vs Nicky Cook, the British Light Heavyweight Title Tony Bellew vs Ovill McKenzie, the WBO Intercontinental Welterweight championship Frankie Gavin vs Curtis Woodhouse, John Murray vs Kevin Mitchell and many, many more.
Tickets are £100 ringside, £80 floor, £50 tier and can be purchased on www.frankwarren.tv.