Frank Warren has laid into rival Eddie Hearn for throwing doubt on Daniel Dubois’s eye injury in an interview and suggesting that people expect too much of boxers.
Dubois took a knee in the tenth-round of his British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight title fight with Joe Joyce on Saturday, leading to some accusing him of quitting.
Warren was fuming after Hearn suggested that Dubois might not have suffered a fracture and said most would post a picture of an x-ray, adding “I’m not a doctor, but it looks like eye-swelling to me, not necessarily a fracture.”
Warren said it was a “c-ntish” thing to say. He said that Dubois had suffered an orbital fracture and bleeding on the retina but would not know if he needed surgery until the welling he reduced.
“Afterwards you have some t--- sitting in his office saying we are all lying about it I find that a real personal affront,” Warren said.
“It is all very well and wise to be clever after the event. To say that he doesn't believe what happened, who gives a f--king sh-t what Hearn says? He doesn't believe?
“We can all point fingers but it should be about the fighter's safety. If a boxer has to lose his eyesight to prove a point then I'm afraid anyone who thinks that should not have any part in the sport.”
Dubois is likely to be out of the ring for at least five months. Some boxers, including Dillian Whyte, accused Dubois of quitting, but there were supportive messaged from others, including Fabio Wardley and Anthony Ogogo, who ended up partially blind and having a series of operations after suffering a similar injury.
Warren compared the situation to that of the reaction to Raul Jimenez when he was injured in a head clash with David Luiz in the Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers football match at the weekend.
“You have a situation at the weekend where you have two players who have a clash of heads and everyone is saying David Luiz shouldn’t have been allowed to continue or drive home and you have a boxer who is told to fight on with a serious injury,” Warren said. “Why is a boxer different from a footballer? The difference is the footballer does not get hit on the head.
“Maybe it is a wake-up call to all of us for what we expect from our fighters. Daniel didn’t know he hada broken bone, but he said he was getting excruciating pain. With the benefit of hindsight he did the right thing.
“I remember years ago with Vitali Klitschko, he tore his rotator cuff and everyone called him a quitter and a dog. You look at Danny Williams, his shoulder came out of its socket and he wouldn’t let his corner pull him out.
“Boxers are a strange, unique breed. If he had got through the round and one of the remaining two rounds, he would have won the fight and everyone would have said how brave he was. We are in a fickle sporting situation.”
Meanwhile, Warren said he does not believe a meeting between him and Hearn to discuss a series of fights between their stables will happen. They had been due to meet in October, after Warren had suggested a series of matches, but Hearn then tested positive for coronavirus.
“If I had a meeting with him now it would be quite interesting,” Warren said. “That’s never going to happen, as we all know. Of course it won't happen. It's all bullsh-t.
“That is gone out of my mind. We have to focus on our fighters. We have a wealth of talent.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.