Frank Warren is hoping to stage the opportunity of a lifetime for his light heavyweight charge Anthony Yarde.
Warren, the head of the British promotional company, Queensberry, stated in a recent interview that he is confident that he will be able to help stage a significant 175-pound title fight later in October, in which Yarde faces the winner of the upcoming unification bout between titlists Artur Beterbiev (WBC, IBF) of Russia and Joe Smith Jr. (WBO) of Long Island on June 18 at Madison Square Garden. Warren said his preference is to have the card take place in Yarde’s native U.K.
Yarde is the mandatory challenger to the WBO 175-pound belt.
“We’ve been talking to (Beterbiev-Smith promoter) Top Rank and that’s where we’d like to get to,” Warren told IFL TV.
Warren has a close relationship with Bob Arum, the head of Top Rank, which backs both Beterbiev and Smith. The two co-promote WBC heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury.
Warren also took aim at rival promoter Eddie Hearn for saying recently that Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) had essentially ducked a fight with Hearn’s charge Joshua Buatsi. Hearn has repeatedly claimed that he offered Yarde $1 million pounds to face Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs). But with Yarde in a position to win three light heavyweight belts, Warren sees no logical reason for his charge to risk his standing against a non-titlist like Buatsi, however appealing.
Buatsi himself is coming off a hard-fought, 12-round decision over British countryman Craig Richards at the O2 Arena in London.
“We made it very clear from the beginning as far as Anthony is concerned,” Warren said. “He got himself, by winning that fight [Lyndon Arthur rematch], into the number one mandatory position. He’s in that position. He’s flying out to the Joe Smith-Beterbiev fight. He’ll be there for that. And the winner will fight him in October.”
Warren ripped Hearn for also claiming that Yarde would be making less money as the mandatory than if he fought Buatsi.
“Why does [Hearn] keep banging on about what he’s gonna get,” Warren said. “He’s not gonna get short money, that’s for sure. That fight hopefully will be in the UK. And if he wins that, and I think he has a great chance of winning that fight, especially in the UK, if we can get it here, then he’s in the driver’s seat. Why would he want to give that up?
“My man’s not ducking it. He’s got the opportunity to fight for three belts, to unify titles. Why would we even consider anything else than that. It’s common sense.”