By Terence Dooley
BoxingScene’s Shaun Brown kicked off a tense and occasionally terse dialogue between Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn earlier this week when he sent through Hearn’s quotes on Warren’s offer to match Nathan Cleverly, who is guided by Warren and fights on BoxNation, and Hearn’s fighter Carl Froch, the jewel in the crown of Sky TV’s boxing coverage.
Hearn spoke to Brown on Wednesday and said: “We have stated time and time again that we are not interested in a fight with Nathan. We then receive an e-mail with an offer and by this time Carl is IBF super middleweight champion. They (Frank Warren Promotions) knew, we knew that we were never going to accept it. It’s easy to throw offers around and it’s easy to hype a fight that really has no relevance to anyone.”
Hearn continued “I find the whole thing quite sad and I actually feel sorry for Nathan Cleverly.”
This sparked a response from Warren, who sent through a statement earlier today insisting that Frank Warren Promotions had offered Froch a lucrative fight with Cleverly plus the chance to move up to 175lb and contest a world title.
‘On 4th June 2012 an email was sent to Matchroom Boxing offering Carl Froch £1 million to fight Nathan Cleverly in September 2012 for the WBO Light Heavyweight Championship,’ said Warren in an open letter that was sent exclusively to BoxingScene.
He added: ‘Eddie Hearn states that Carl was IBF Super-Middleweight Champion at the time this offer was made, this is correct, otherwise why would I be offering £1 million for a fighter coming off such a comprehensive loss to Andre Ward. So how Eddie can state that we knew he wouldn’t accept it is baffling as I’m sure Carl has never earned a £1 million purse despite his high profile fights. It was a serious offer, otherwise I would not have made it.’
Warren also insisted that the offer was a fair one and that it would be a better fight in prospect than Froch versus Yusuf Mack — the Nottingham-based fighter’s next opponent — or the projected rematch between Froch and Lucian Bute, who he destroyed in four-rounds in May yet has to fight again, and in Bute’s adopted country Canada, as per a rematch clause in the contract that secured Froch the IBF world title challenge at Nottingham’s FM Arena.
Hearn, though, disagrees with Warren’s assessment. The two men have fought their corners openly on Twitter and via this website. Indeed, Matchroom’s Managing Director phoned me earlier today to outline his position, making a few brief bullet points before signing off.
“Carl Froch is the IBF super middleweight champion of the world and has no intention of moving to light-heavyweight in the near future,” stated Hearn, who also emailed through an outline of his overall stance via a series of bullet points.
He wrote: ‘* Carl Froch is the IBF Super Middleweight Champion of the World and has no intention of moving to Light-Heavyweight in the near future.
* Carl Froch is contracted to rematch Lucian Bute. We honour contracts.
* Carl Froch has no interest in fighting on a Frank Warren Promotions Ltd show
* Carl Froch has no interest in fighting on Box Nation
Should the situation change we will be in touch through the appropriate channels.
I hope this puts an end to this pointless dialogue.’
It means that it is a case of ‘as you were’ for the two fighters as Froch, 29-2 (21), is preparing himself for a meeting with Mack, 31-4-2 (17), at Nottingham’s FM Arena. Cleverly, 24-0 (11), puts his unbeaten record on the line against the 27-2 (16) Vyacheslav Uzelkov, at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on October 27.
As entertaining as the recent days have been, it is a fight that is unlikely to happen in the current climate, as both men will make a case as to why their fighter should be on their usual TV network. Indeed, Froch’s long, hard battle to get himself on Sky TV was unlikely to end with a world title challenge on the broadcaster’s rival channel and renders the whole debate moot, until the next round.
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