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Frank Warren: British Talent Tossed Abroad For Beatings

By Frank Warren

Capturing a world title overseas, particularly across in the US, is just about the ultimate achievement for a British boxer. The list of those who've triumphed Stateside since the Second World War remains in single figures; Alan Minter, Cornelius Boza Edwards, Lloyd Honeyghan, Dennis Andries, Nigel Benn, Naseem Hamed, Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe comprise the elite band who've turned the trick.

Home advantage isn't just about a vociferous crowd spurring on the local man and inadvertently swaying the judges' favour in rounds which are close.

During the build-up, it also shields the fighter from becoming travel weary, even jet lagged, and permits them to prepare in their own gymnasium. They get to sleep in their own bed, surrounded by their loved ones, and feast on familiar cuisine. Press conferences and weigh-ins take place at familiar locations where they are surrounded by familiar faces.

And while the vast majority of officials are men and women of honour and integrity, it is only human nature that they will subconsciously be more compliant to the home fighter.

Investing heavily to secure home court for my guy has certainly been paramount to some of the greatest successes I've been involved in over the years.

A frighteningly hostile crowd drove Nigel Benn to rally from the brink of an early stoppage defeat to overwhelm Illinois' Gerald McClellan in their brutal and ultimately tragic super-middleweight WBC showdown at London's Docklands Arena in February 1995.

Nine months later, would  have Frank Bruno overcome the late rally of Oliver McCall to capture the WBC heavyweight title, had the fight taken place in the US and not at Wembley Stadium.

In his prime, Ricky Hatton was nigh on invincible at his MEN fortress in Manchester, and never more so than the night he captured the IBF light-welter title by suffocating Kostya Tszyu.

Similarly, fanatical British crowds inspired Joe Calzaghe to his greatest victories over Florida's Jeff Lacy in Manchester and, particularly, Denmark's Mikkel Kessler before over 50,000 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Most recently, Scot Ricky Burns benefitted enormously from receiving home turf for his brace of WBO title wins over Puerto Rico's Roman Martinez in Glasgow and Australia's Michael Katsidis at Wembley.

Though I wasn't involved, competing in Blighty unquestionably proved crucial to the two Brits involved in world title action last weekend.

Doncaster bantamweight Jamie McDonnell boxed out of his skin to defuse the considerable threat of Mexico's lethal punching Julio Ceja and collect the vacant IBF crown. The 27 year old plasterer prevailed on the tightest majority decision after a 12 round thriller to become Britain's fourth reigning world champion.

However, the Tyke owes a huge debt of gratitude to his manager-promoter Dennis Hobson who dug deep into his pockets to deliver the life-altering opportunity at the Keepmoat soccer stadium in Jamie's home town. Somehow, they even managed to slip in a referee, Howard Foster, who also hails from Donny?!

Had the fight occurred in Mexico, McDonnell would almost certainly have conceded the decision. Now, hopefully, Hobson can recoup on his investment by promoting subsequent title defences. Paul Butler, my spiteful British and Commonwealth super-fly champion is readily available if they're seeking a domestic blockbuster.

Up in Glasgow, it's doubtful that WBO lightweight king Burns won a single round before the halfway stage of his ill advised mandatory defence against Jose Gonzales.

Team Burns bizarrely opted to accept the classy and dangerous Puerto Rican ahead of the unification fight I'd organised against Mexico's talented but feather-fisted IBF boss Miguel Vasquez.

His connections Ricky, who now talk boldly of travelling to the US to duke it out with rising Cincinnati sensation Adrien Broner, was ominously schooled for six rounds, then rocked to his boots in round seven.

But the frighteningly resilient Scot bit hard on his gumshield and, buoyed by the Tartan Army, blazed back to force the visitor to wave the white flag whilst sat on his stool after nine completed rounds.

Nevertheless, I seriously doubt that the previously unbeaten Puerto Rican – ahead by three rounds on all official cards- would have swallowed so meekly had the fight occurred before his own disciples back in San Juan.

Self-praise is no recommendation but it's a hard fact that besides being a promoter, I'm the most successful manager in British ring history.

The art is knowing both the strengths and limitations of your own fighter, then picking the right champion at the right time, securing every conceivable edge – including home territory – when you unleash your kid into world class.

Others are way too keen to chase a quick buck. Sure there are occasions, particularly if a seasoned fighter has peaked or isn't a prolific ticket seller, when you'll allow them a long shot, and a lucrative overseas assignment.

However, lately there has been a steady stream of decent British talent tossed abroad to cop a pay day and a beating. Darren Barker, Matt Macklin, Martin Murray, Gavin Rees, Matthew Hatton and Ryan Rhodes spring readily to mind.

The disturbing trend continues this evening when Colchester welterweight Lee Purdy is up against it in at just four weeks notice against formidable IBF champion Devon Alexander over in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

A product of the unlicensed scene, the 25 year old Essex lad had negligible amateur breeding and has already been exposed at domestic level by Denton Vassell and faded veteran Colin Lynes.

Good luck to him but he is spectacularly under qualified and ill equipped to challenge 'Alexander The Great', a top class southpaw who won 300 of 310 amateur gigs and has since collected three professional world titles in two weight divisions.

I envisage Purdy – an 11-1 outsider – will be very lucky to be still standing at the end.  Good luck to him – he will need it.

In world championship boxing, there really is no place quite like home.

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I've been copping some flak from ill-informed cyber warriors regarding the fall-out of the transatlantic heavyweight dust-up between Dereck Chisora and Deontay Wilder which we announced last week. So here are the FACTS.

Wilder has publically acknowledged that he accepted the purse that we offered. His matchmakers Golden Boy asked a question if we could delay the announcement but a conference had already been set-up and several press notified, so the answer was no.

It was only after the presser, it came to light that Wilder may not be able to fight.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. has hit the top spot again as America's highest earning athlete according to the latest Sports Illustrated survey, earning an eye-watering $90m in prize money.

Basketball star LeBron James lagged behind in second place with $56.5m, while golf great Tiger Woods was fifth with $40.8m.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by foxingstance on 05-19-2013

So basically frank is addmiting here that he doesnt like put his fighters in with decent fighters, for once your not talking complete s*@te frank, well done

Comment by matt73uk on 05-19-2013

Not a very good article. All Frank Warren is doing here is saying British fighters can't win abroad. In other words, don't leave Frank Warren, stick with him and just fight in the UK all your life with no world…

Comment by Weebler I on 05-18-2013

[QUOTE=big_james10;13386058]I will give Frank Warren credit for one thing. He had enough sense not to put Ricky Hatton in the ring at 140 against Floyd Mayweather.[/QUOTE] Yeah Ricky fighting Mayweather at his preferred weight in his prime would have been…

Comment by IronDanHamza on 05-18-2013

[QUOTE=BIGPOPPAPUMP;13387411]Here is a response on behalf of Frank Warren Promotions. "Just to clarify, Michael Jennings and Gary Locket were both WBO mandatory challengers to Miguel Cotto and Kelly Pavlik respectively. Had they not have taken their fights abroad then they…

Comment by BIGPOPPAPUMP on 05-18-2013

[QUOTE=The_Demon;13385675]Isn't it funny that Warren did exactly the same with Michael Jennings,Gary Lockett etc,they had less of a chance than any of the fighters Hearn has sent across the pond,an idiot and a hypocrite,oh dear.[/QUOTE] Here is a response on…

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