Frank Warren exclusive: Queensberry boss talks Tommy Fury, Canelo and the latest on Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury

In the first of an exclusive fortnightly column for BT Sport, Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren reflects on a busy weekend across the boxing world.

Published: 3 March 2021 - 3.54pm
Boxing

Frank Warren

I was pleased we managed to get all the kids out on Saturday night having first lost Carl Frampton vs Jamel Herring and then Anthony Cacace vs Lyon Woodstock from the main card.  

It was nice for a couple of the young kids to get their debut. I thought Sam Noakes was brilliant. I was expecting that to be a tough fight for him against Delmar Thomas but he was exceptional in beating a guy who was 5-0. I was really pleased with that. The young lad Masood Abdulah was very good too, I’m glad he got to perform.

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I thought the main event between Quaise Khademi and Ijaz Ahmed was very competitive, a close fight. It would make a great rematch, which we might look at.

Tommy Fury did what he had to do. You have to bear in mind with Tommy he’s hardly had any amateur experience so although he’s got this massive profile because of reality TV, we still have to temper that while we’re bringing him through. But we’ll start stepping him up now in opposition and I was extremely pleased with him.

Losing fights at such short notice during the pandemic has been a nightmare. Under normal circumstances the matchmaker would be calling around to bring someone in but the fact everyone has be tested now and go into the bio-secure bubble, that has become impossible.

It’s very frustrating but hopefully we’ll see what happens with Boris’ next update and that could all change.

It all depends on how people are behaving too because this weekend the weather for February was amazing but people then go and spoil themselves instead of adhering to the rules. I know everyone is frustrated but at the end of the day, we’re trying to get out of the worst of it and the only way we can do that is by following the guidelines.

So we’ll wait for the next government update. Maybe we will be able to get some bums on seats. I’m looking at the concert industry and they’re selling gigs in August, I think that’s when it’ll be before we get any significant crowds back in.

The Canelo fight was no more than I expected at the weekend.

Yildirim had a little flourish didn’t he but that went away just as everyone predicted and now it’s all set up for Bill [Billy Joe Saunders].

I know Bill has been training hard, which is a good thing. My only reservation is that he’s a superb talent and I always felt if anyone could beat Canelo it would be him, but he hasn’t been as active as he should be.

Remember he’s going up a weight from his natural weight and Canelo is very, very strong. He was even strong at light-heavyweight. It’s not going to be an easy fight for Bill but he’s got the ability. It’s just a question of whether he has the strength.

Talks for the Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury fight are all going in the right direction still.

We’re all moving heaven and Earth to get it on, everyone. Matchroom, ourselves, Top Rank, the management teams of both boxers, we’re all working hard to get it on and hopefully it will happen.

The next thing is getting the venues sorted out so there are stages that we have to go through but I’m quite confident that we’ll get this over the line. 

Frank Warren will be back in a fortnight, giving BT Sport his exclusive insight on the world of boxing with a huge year of fights ahead in 2021.