Hall of Fame Boxing Promoter Frank Warren is delighted to announce that global sports giant IMG have been appointed as his exclusive global distribution partner for future boxing events.
The deal will see the sports media heavyweight exclusively representing Frank Warren’s broadcast rights in all territories except the UK and North America.
Warren, via his deal to promote regular boxing on BT Sport in the UK, boasts a stable of World Class fighters that includes Billy Joe Saunders, Carl Frampton MBE, Terry Flanagan, Zolani Tete, Liam Smith, Lee Selby and Josh Warrington; as well as some of the most exciting emerging stars in world boxing, including Anthony Yarde, Zelfa Barrett, Nicola Adams OBE and Heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois.
Frank Warren said: “I’m delighted to have IMG represent my promotions for global distribution opportunities.
“They are the biggest name in the business. The events, and the boxers featured on them, can look forward to reaching a global audience that will only help to further raise the profile of UK boxing and some of its biggest stars.
“As part of the deal, I am excited about future opportunities that will be to the benefit of the sport as a whole and in particular, the boxers I represent.
“This is another big development following our deal with BT Sport last year. 2017 saw us deliver some outstanding fights and in 2018 we expect even better events, whilst continuing to do what we do best; developing the next crop of star boxers.”
Kristian Hysen, SVP, Global Sports, IMG Media, said: “We are very excited about the relationship with Frank Warren and his team. He has an outstanding pedigree in boxing and a great stable of fighters. Last year saw us represent the two biggest fights in Joshua vs Klitschko and Mayweather vs McGregor and our deal with Frank now gives our customers a year-long programme of premium boxing to look forward to.”
The partnership will also see Frank Warren and IMG explore other projects within boxing. Warren firmly believes that working alongside both BT and IMG will facilitate him delivering the most high profile fights. He added, “With several hugely high profile UK PPV events that will be up for grabs in the second half of 2018, it’s exciting times and having IMG involved in a formal capacity will benefit us when it comes to trying to secure our involvement in the biggest events in boxing.”
Boxing fans are set to be well catered for in the first half 2018, with a line-up of Frank Warren events that includes a World Championship double header at The O2 in London on 14th April. The card sees Billy Joe Saunders face domestic rival Martin Murray in a defence of his WBO Middleweight World Championship, alongside Terry Flanagan’s challenge for the Vacant WBO Super-Lightweight World Championship, against unbeaten American Maurice Hooker.
Whilst on 21st April, Irish hero Carl Frampton faces four-weight World Champion Nonito Donaire at the SSE Arena in Belfast, in a fight that is as amongst the biggest to ever take place in Ireland.
Also part of the unmissable schedule, is the 19th May showdown at the home of Leeds United Football Club, Elland Road, between IBF Featherweight World Champion Lee Selby and bitter rival Josh Warrington.
All of these events will be simulcast on BT Sport and BoxNation in the UK.
Mr Warren signed a landmark deal last year that sees him stage regular World title events in the UK on BT Sport, in a partnership that also saw his 24/7 dedicated subscription boxing channel, BoxNation added to the BT Sport pack of channels.
Since its inception in 2011, BoxNation has screened some of the biggest fights from the UK and abroad, including the likes of Saunders v Eubank Jr, Haye v Chisora, Mayweather v Cotto and Canelo v Golovkin.
Former soldier DL Jones is promising to dispense a solid square bashing to Heavyweight hotshot Daniel Dubois when the undefeated 17 stone juggernauts collide for the Southern Area strap at London’s York Hall on February 24th.
‘My biggest attributes are definitely my fitness and my mental strength; both products of the army,’ says the 6ft 5in tower from Queenborough, Kent who is unbeaten in nine (one draw).
‘The military teach you to dig deep and dig in, drag your opponent up that hill. I’m not known as a banger but all Heavyweights can punch and I just keep going, keep throwing. I always prepare for 15 rounds!’
Twenty year old ‘Dynamite Dubois’ has blitzed all six pro opponents inside five minutes en route to the title, forcing a trail of prospective opponents to hide behind the sofa. Soldier Jones, however, was more than willing to step up to the frontline.
‘Daniel is avoided because he hits like a steam train,’ concedes the 36 year old father of two who is coached by Ray Askew and Sam Latham at the Invicta gym in Kent.
‘He’s a very good lad, a nice tidy boxer with a thunderous rear hand. He’s destined to go all the way and everybody expects him to just blast through me. He’s going to charge at me and try to wipe me out, just like he’s wiped everybody else out.
‘But he’s never been past two rounds whereas I’ve completed eight at a high pace. Let’s see what sort of engine he’s got.’
DL (real name Dave) points out that he has been active in combat sports for almost a quarter of a century, longer than ‘Triple D’ has been alive.
‘I did kickboxing for a couple of years from the age of about 12 but, though I was always big, I was never a rough kid really, and didn’t start amateur boxing at the Sheerness ABC until I was about 18,' he says.
‘My career really took off when I joined the army at 22. I became a ‘tracksuit soldier’ for two years. The facilities were amazing and we were coached by (six time ABA champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist) Chris Bessey MBE.
‘I suppose I had about 20 contests and won most of them. I was Army champion, fought in the Combined Services and got to the semis of the National Novices.
‘My last amateur fight was my first without a headguard and I got stopped by Nick Webb (now 12-0 as a pro) on a cut in the second round. Basically, the doc sh** himself! After that, I packed in for three or four years.
‘Eventually I drifted back to the Sheerness gym where I knew (Morocco born ex-pro) Joe Elfidh from the Army. He persuaded me to fight for money and offered to manage me.’
In addition, the ex squaddie is 16 years senior to Dubois, claims three more pro fights and, with all bouts going to the cards, has boxed 35 more rounds since ditching his singlet in September 2014. While the Londoner is yet to hear the bell for round three as he enters this 10 rounder, Jones has travelled the six round trip on three occasions and also completed an eight rounder.
‘That gives me optimism,’ says the 6ft 5in Jones who now earns his crust as a full-time bricklayer.
‘I get up at 5.30 for my runs - hill reps and intervals – before work, then train for a couple of hours in the evening so it’s difficult but I enjoy it.
‘The York Hall is a brilliant, historic venue. There’s a terrific atmosphere with all the fans right on top of the ring. I’ve got nothing to lose and guarantee I’ll do the best I can. I’m certainly not coming to lie down. An upset could change everything for me.
‘Dubois’ physique certainly doesn’t scare me. I’ve beaten plenty his frame before. It’s his ability not his size that I need to worry about.
‘The aim is to pull him into the later rounds and make him uncomfortable, drag him up that hill!’
An action-packed evening of boxing at the iconic fight theatre features Anthony 'The Beast' Yarde (14-0, 13 KO’s) defending his WBO Intercontinental and European Light-Heavyweight titles against Frenchman Tony Averlant (26-9-2, 5 KO’s);
Zelfa 'Brown Flash' Barrett (19-0, 12 KO’s) takes on former British Super-Featherweight title challenger Ronnie Clark (20-4-2, 10 KO's) when he fights in the capital for the first time;
Elsewhere on a stacked card Nantwich Heavyweight star Nathan Gorman fights over eight rounds; Welling Super-Featherweight Archie Sharp aims to improve his unbeaten record to 12-0; former Southern Area Super-Featherweight Champion Boy Jones Jnr fights at Lightweight for the first time; gifted Southampton Featherweight Ryan ‘The Piranha’ Garner looks to get his career back on track when he fights over four rounds; Ilford Welterweight talent Hamzah Sheeraz fights in his second professional contest and stylish Ilford Super-Middleweight Umar Sadiq and former Team GB Flyweight Harvey Horn both look to go 2-0.
Limited remaining tickets for Saturday 24th February are available to purchase from www.ticketmaster.com and directly from fighters on the bill.
Ryan Stewart Davies has promised something special in his next fight on BCB Promotions’ ‘The Class of 2018’ – sponsored by Grosvenor Casino Walsall - at Walsall Town Hall, Walsall, on Saturday, 3rd March.
‘Rhino’ has been focusing on increasing his firepower and he told BCB-Promotions he is looking to land a bomb on opponent Myles Vale.
“I have been working hard on my strength and power for this one,”he told bcb-promotions.com. “I used to get knockouts as a kickboxer and I want to show my fans that I can carry that over into boxing.
“I want to stop rushing my work and get more power shots in than what I have been doing. I want the stoppages. People come to boxing to see a knockout and I want to be able to do that here.
“I don’t know much about Vale. I know he is from Birmingham and he is a tough fighter so I will make sure I am in top condition for this. He has had two defeats so far so he will be gunning for the win this time.
“Hopefully he gives me a good fight because the better the opponent, the better I perform. It brings the best out of myself and I am excited to get in the ring again here.
“I feel like I have a good performance coming and I want to put on a show that people remember.”
The 25-year-old believes everything is coming into place in his boxing career and he believes a victory here will be the start of an exciting year for the Tividale pugilist.
“I am feeling really confident in myself now,” he added. “ Obviously there was a bit of a transitional period with me going from kickboxing to boxing but I am feeling more comfortable with each fight.
“I feel that everything in my camp is all sorted and I will be looking to put on my best display so far here.
“I want to keep pushing and chase the titles so another win here will just take me closer to that.
“I want to be on the big shows and build my career, this fight will be another building block on that route but I want to step up soon.
“I am hoping for a six rounder in this fight. Upping the rounds will take me closer to the title fights so I want to start stepping up.”
“I am fit and I do 10 and 12 round fights in sparring so I think I will suit the longer fights. The more time I get in the ring, the more chance I have of getting the stoppage so I am looking forward to increasing the rounds.”
‘The Class of 2018’ sees Walsall super welterweight, Levi Ferguson, Wolverhampton welterweight, Gareth Gardner, and Wolverhampton based Pole, Damian Kiwior (welterweight) all fight for the first time.
They are joined by Walsall bantamweight, Humza Ali, Kingswinford super welterweight, Danny Ball, Wolverhampton cruiserweight, Antony Woolery, and Ledbury super lightweight, Alex Florence.
Tickets are priced at £35 general admission (£40 on the door) and £60 (VIP Ringside to include buffet and waitress service), and can be purchased by calling 0845 111 2900. The aftershow will take place at Grosvenor Casino Walsall. Find out more about Grosvenor Casino Walsall here: http://www.grosvenorcasinos.com/local-casinos/walsall/