Death, taxes…and boxing promoters trying to defend their shoddily-perceived undercards.

Veteran British fight impresario Frank Warren recently found himself in the latter position after the undercard to the Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte heavyweight title bout (for Fury’s WBC belt) was unveiled to the public. Fury-Whyte is set to take place April 23 at Wembley Stadium in London.

Suffice to say, it was not exactly the kind of lineup to get the hearts of hardcore fans racing.

The seven-fight undercard features Anthony Cacace in a super-featherweight bout against Jonathan Romero for a secondary WBO belt; Isaac Lowe in a featherweight bout against Nick Ball, also for a secondary title (WBC); and Tommy Fury, the reality tv figure and younger half-brother of Tyson, in a light heavyweight contest with Daniel Bocianski.

The Queensberry Promotions head, however, inveighed against the perception that the undercard is complete dross, saying in a recent interview that while the undercard does not feature feted names, many of the bouts themselves are competitive, or “50-50”. Warren co-promotes Fury with Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc.

Warren also pointed to developments that were out of his control. Because his charge Anthony Yarde, the hard hitting light heavyweight contender, is in a position to potentially fight for a 175-pound unification bout, Warren did not want to risk Yarde getting involved in a stay-busy fight that could jeopardize that status.

In addition, rising American heavyweight Jared Anderson, who is promoted by Top Rank, was supposed to be on the undercard, but he suffered an injury.  

Most of all, regarding the quality of the undercard, Warren said that he was restricted by the enormous purse bid we placed on the main event.

Earlier this year, Warren, in tandem with Arum, turned in a record $41 million offer to promote Fury-Whyte. That sum was nearly $9 million more than the second highest bid, $32 million by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. Under an 80-20 split decreed by the WBC, Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) will collect $29,538,000, while Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) is guaranteed $7,384,500. The winner stands to make an extra $4 million, or 10% of the winning bid.

With a large portion of their budget allocated to the main event, Warren said there was only so much he could do with the support bouts.

“Anthony Yarde was supposed to fight on there,” Warren told IFL TV. “Unfortunately that didn’t work out. Bob Arum’s heavyweight, Jared [Anderson], was supposed to be on there, but he got injured.

“We’ve put all our money into the main event, but we’ve got a good fighting undercard. There’s a couple of good cracking fights on there. It is what it is.

“Obviously, it’s a disappointment. We want to deliver every time but at the end of the day we are constricted by the fact that we bid 41 million dollars for the fight. If we bid 32 million, as Matchroom did, we’d have more money to play with.”

Warren reminded the naysayers that nearly 94,000 tickets have been sold on the basis of the main event. He staunchly refuted any notion that he was trying to take advantage of the consumer. 

“We bid a lot of money for the main fight,” Warren said. “People bought tickets for that main fight without us even announcing an undercard. The main event’s what it’s all about.”

“We lost Anthony and we lost Anderson,” Warren continued. “We’re obviously very unhappy about it, but we did the best we could with the fighters that are available to fight at the moment.

“We put something together, and they are decent fights. They are good fights. There’s nothing wrong with them. We are not selling this fight based upon anything else other than this main fight. The rest of it is what it is. It’s an undercard. I don’t want to sell anybody short, but again, we only have a certain amount of money to play with.”