By Rick Reeno
Eric Gomez, head matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions, was shocked when BoxingScene.com informed him that Frank Warren held a Thursday morning press conference in London to announce a June fight between heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Dereck Chisora.
The problem, says Gomez, is that a deal was never reached between the two sides and Wilder never committed himself to the fight or signed a contract.
Wilder vs. Chisora was being discussed between Gomez and Warren's head matchmaker Dean Powell. Warren, and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, were not involved in the negotiations.
While Wilder and his team were interested in the fight, the heavyweight was sidetracked by a legal issue which occurred this past weekend. On Saturday night in Las Vegas, Wilder was arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman at a hotel on the strip.
The ongoing criminal case could hinder Wilder's ability to travel to London on June 15th.
Because of that legal issue, Gomez advised Powell in multiple emails to delay any announcement of the fight until the legal issues surrounding Wilder were explored further and there were still some unresolved points related to the fight itself.
"Yes we started negotiations last week, we got an offer last week. We were going back and forth. On Monday we found out about this arrest. We had no idea he got arrested. On Tuesday morning they sent us a contract and I told them about the arrest. They asked me if it was going to be a problem and I said 'I don't know, we have to talk to the attorneys and in the meantime we'll review the agreement.' We had to talk to the attorneys. I'm not an attorney," Gomez told BoxingScene.com.
"I spoke to them again and told them that Deonay is interested in the fight but there is a legal issue that he has to resolve and he doesn’t know if he can leave the country or not. And even if he leaves the country, maybe he has a problem out there [due to the ongoing criminal case]. Dean Powell told me they had a similar problem with [Mike] Tyson [in 2000]. I told them to hold off on everything."
"Then I get an email from them that they want to announce it. And I told them to hold off because we have to figure things out and see if we have a fight or not. They were in a hurry to announce it and I don't know why. I sent them an email last night, telling them ‘please don't announce it yet’ because we're trying to figure things out."
"This morning I get two emails 'we're going to announce it.' I sent them an email and said 'Dean, please don't announce because there are going to be problems. I spoke with the attorney and there are problems, don't announce it.' And then they went and announced it. Yes we discussed it and there was interest, but we can't do it. Deontay is trying to resolve his legal problems and the fight is like a month away."
For his part, Schaefer was very surprised that Warren and his company held a press conference because the fight was never finalized and Warren’s matchmaker was advised of Wilder’s ongoing legal issue.
“The fight was discussed; Deontay and his management team were interested in doing the fight. We were talking numbers and we settled on a number that was acceptable to everyone. All of this was last week. But then we heard and read what happened this weekend, and as a result it would not be the smartest thing to book an overseas fight in England right now,” Schaefer told BoxingScene.com
“And as soon as it happened, and I'm sure Frank read about it as well, Eric Gomez sent several emails to Dean Powell about it. The PR team for Frank Warren wanted to get quotes from me and Deontay and I told them that 'I can't give you any quotes because the fight is not done.' And nevertheless they went ahead - even though they didn’t get the quotes from us and even though we said there was an issue with the fight."