by Frank Warren
It seems everybody’s had their say since David Haye and Dereck Chisora’s grudge heavyweight showdown was announced for Saturday 14th July at West Ham United.
There has been masses of column inches in both the front and back of the papers with added commentary from columnists who have never even attended a fight, yet all seem to have an expert opinion.
But how many of these ‘experts’ can name even two or three of the Stewards that currently sit on the British Boxing Board of Control?
What I want to make perfectly clear is that I’m not looking to put the British Boxing Board of Control out of business. I’ve been a big supporter of the BBBofC for many years and like most of the license holders believe that we need a strong and healthy governing body to regulate the sport in Britain.
What has been a concern, to many, over the last 18 months, is the stewardship of the Board concerning a number of issues that have fallen on deaf ears at their Cardiff headquarters.
There are many good people working at the Board, but they are a limited company who a few years ago had to be rescued from receivership. The main problem today is how they have handled the Chisora situation. Whether you like it or not Chisora hasn’t been banned – he is free to box. There are also a number of other serious issues that many license holders, including myself, feel are not being dealt with concerning UK boxing.
It is all very well the chosen ‘few’ stewards flying around the world first class, sitting ringside, accepting fees for ‘supervising’ fights or attending five day conventions all at the expense of the licence holders, licence holders who cannot even vote on important issues concerning their sport.
I warned them last year that the boxing landscape was changing and that Sky Sports would be cutting back on their TV dates, which has proved to be the case and the effect that it would have on the sport.
This week the Board called a secret meeting in a London hotel, with a few licensed promoters chaired by the President and Chairman of the Board Charles Giles. Neither I nor the other 40 odd licensed promoters were invited to attend. Scottish promoter Tommy Gilmour flew down from Glasgow to attend but there are about 20 South East based promoters who weren’t invited. Why?
Meanwhile ‘honest Jose Sulaiman’ of the WBC has jumped on the bandwagon supporting his Vice President Charlie Giles, yes he is the VP of the WBC. A few years ago he authorized a $10,000 donation without seeking licence holders approval to Jose’s organization. It was swept under the carpet without an explanation again why?
Sulaiman has conveniently forgotten that he installed Mike Tyson as the number one contender in their rankings straight after being released from prison in 1995 after serving four years for rape, tried to cheat Buster Douglas out of his rightful win over Mike Tyson in Tokyo, when Antonio Margarito was banned in the USA for loading his gloves against Shane Mosley, Margarito was sanctioned by the WBC to fight in Mexico for the International Belt then went onto fight Manny Pacquiao and recently Sulaiman said that hitting women “was not a major sin” – all in the good name of WBC sanction fees.
Yesterday, the WBO and WBA organisations both confirmed that the fight will be for the their International and Intercontinental titles. The Board is affiliated with the WBO and WBA.
Paco Valcarcel, president of the WBO, said, "We have to go ahead and approve the fight. The Luxembourg Boxing Federation is a member of the WBO and the problem is between the LBF and the British Boxing Board of Control, not the LBF and the WBO."
Also, Alexander Povetkin will defend his WBA World Heavyweight title defence against former WBC/IBF Champion Hasim Rahman on the show.
Two polls this week saw readers’ vote overwhelmingly in favour of watching David Haye and Dereck Chisora fight at West Ham United on Saturday 14th July.
Trade newspaper Boxing News revealed that a whopping 75 per cent of its readers would watch it, while 71 per cent of the Daily Mail readers wanted to see it either by buying a ticket or watching it on BoxNation.
In one of the most exciting performances of his career, Floyd Mayweather's win over Miguel Cotto generated a whopping 1.5m PPV buys and $94m in PPV revenue.
That's the second highest grossing PPV event ever outside of the heavyweight division with first position being Mayweather's 2007 fight against Oscar De La Hoya.
It will be interesting to see how Manny Pacquiao's fight against Timothy Bradley does next month as the pair argue who should get the bigger split of a potential showdown.
It was amusing to read Donovan "Razor" Ruddock's comments about feasting on the Klitschko brothers who he called Chicken Kiev and calling out Dereck Chisora and David Haye.
What's not so amusing is that the one-time heavyweight contender is looking at making a comeback at 48 and after 11 years out of the ring.
Although a massive puncher in his prime, he lost in his biggest fights against Mike Tyson, twice, Lennox Lewis in the early 1990s and then Tommy Morrison in 95.
Hollywood superstar Will Smith gave Britain's Olympic super-heavyweight hope Anthony Joshua a taste of what to expect from the Americans at London 2012.
Smith, who played Muhammad Ali in the 2001 hit movie Ali, did a few rounds on the pads with Joshua in London this week.
Joshua won gold in Lithuania last Saturday night with a frightening KO of Johan Linde in his final fight before the Olympics, the Americans confirmed their Olympic boxing team of nine men - the second largest team to head to London behind the Australians.
The Americans have only won one gold in the last three Olympics compared to their record-breaking gold medal haul in 1984 when they won nine.
A potential opponent for Joshua could by the 6ft 6in powerhouse Dominic Breazeale who’s a former quarterback in American football and only took up boxing three years ago.
Floyd Mayweather’s tweet saying “I stand behind President Obama & support gay marriage”, in reference to Manny Pacquiao’s alleged comments about anti-gay marriage, was a bit of a close call!
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