Frank Warren just wants Eddie Hearn to call a spade a spade.
The veteran British promoters are no strangers to feuding. One of their latest involves rising contender Conor Benn, Hearn’s fighter, and veteran David Avanesyan, who fights under Warren. Warren has been keen on matching Avanesyan against Benn, who had something of a breakout year last year, with wins over Samuel Vargas, Adrian Granados, and Chris Algieri. Warren has said he has tried to approach Hearn about a Benn-Avanesyan bout, going so far as to promise Hearn that he would pay Avanesyan’s purse, but to no avail.
At this point, Warren wants Hearn to drop the pretense and admit that he simply doesn’t want Avanesyan anywhere near Benn.
“Let’s cut through all the bullsh!t,” Warren told IFL TV. “At the end of the day he doesn’t want Conor Benn to fight [Avanesyan].”
Warren also takes issue with Hearn’s claim that Benn (20-0, 13 KOs) is looking for more marketable opponents, most of whom are American, such as Adrien Broner, Danny Garica, Robert Guerrero, and Maurice Hooker, who appears to be the latest frontrunner to face Benn. It was Avanesyan (28-3-1, 16 KOs), Warren reminded, that effectively retired Hall of Famer Shane Mosley on American soil.
“Well, you know [Avanesyan’s] the one who went to the US and beat Shane Mosley on TV,” Warren said, referring to Avanesyan’s unanimous decision in 2016. “They know who he is.”
Avanesyan has a reputation for upsetting up-and-comers. Last year, he stopped Hearn-promoted Josh Kelly in the sixth round.
“I think he’s more well known than Conor Benn is,” Warren said of Avanesyan, a Russian national who resides in England. “Let’s cut through it all. [Hearn] doesn’t want that Avanesyan fight. He said, what was last year, Conor will have one more fight then he will fight him. Well, he’s had one fight, and he’s not fighting him. He’s spouting off all these names. Was it Hooker?”
Warren, in the end, isn’t about to lose any sleep over the latest boondoggle with his rival. Hearn, he knows, is operating according to the well-wrought risk/reward principle that governs the business of professional boxing. If the shoe was on the other foot, Warren says he would do the same.
“All that arguing about ‘more well known’ or whatever it is is just a red herring. I don’t blame him for kicking Conor Benn away from David, but let’s cut through the bulls---- and say it how it is. He doesn’t fancy the fight, he doesn’t fancy his man in there with him.
“And if I was him, I’d do the same thing. I wouldn’t let him anywhere near him. If he wants to make the fight, my offer is I’ll pay for my man. They’re happy with that, I’ll pay him really well for it, because for me it’s a great investment as far as a domestic fight in the UK, big fight that everybody knows.
“[Hearn] will have the privilege of promoting. He can put it on DAZN – not that that much people will be watching it.”