By Elliot Foster
So last week’s column fell by the wayside and, in a way, I’m glad it did because it’s been a ridiculously eventful week.
We’ve had the backlash of the controversial fight between Ward and Kovalev, the sensational debut of Irish amateur star Katie Taylor and something which wasn’t wholly unexpected but still came as a bit of a bolt from the blue, among other things.
I’ll start with some low key-ish matters, though, and it seems that the BT Sport link up with BoxNation, Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions is already looking like a positive thing.
We’ve had the news that Warren has added British super-lightweight champion Tyrone Nurse to his ranks, with one eye on the clash with WBO Inter-Continental king Jack Catterall who returns this weekend in Paisley, Scotland, and today we were told that Josh Warrington, the WBC International featherweight champion who has a record of 24-0 (5 KOs), has parted ways with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing.
Sources tell me that Warrington will join fellow Yorkshireman Nurse over the road at Queensberry after Hearn said that Matchroom and Josh’s team had differentiating visions with regards the future, but all will be revealed in due course, I suppose.
I think it’s a good move for all concerned, personally, because ticket sales for Hearn’s Leeds shows have progressively dwindled and Warren could do worse than to sign somebody who is hungry, arguably still learning and renowned as a massive ticket seller to boot.
The BT Sport link-up, coupled with the high regard Warren is held in in the majority of boxing circles and exposure that it will bring, means that a few more Matchroom fighters could well be next over the proverbial promotional wall.
Now then, now that the big stuff is out of the way, let’s get on with the even bigger stuff. So big, in fact, that you can’t get any bigger: the sport’s premier division and the battle between David Haye and Tony Bellew.
Tickets disappeared within 55 minutes, there was a less-than-nice-looking, rather unsavoury punch by Haye in the head-to-head and Bellew has called his future foe “a rat” following his somewhat deplorable comments about wanting to leave the Liverpudlian in a hospital bed after rendering him unconscious.
All to sell a fight? Well, yes, but that’s unnecessary.
It’s a hyped-up money fight in which both men will undoubtedly be paid well. But that’s all it is: a money fight.
Bellew’s a cruiserweight world champion with the WBC and Haye is chasing a global honour at heavyweight. This particular fight satisfies neither of the above, though.
What it does satisfy, however, is the fans who love a bit of animosity –– manufactured or not.
This certainly isn’t manufactured animosity just to sell a fight. The issue is that the fans who want to see this fight –– and there won’t be many who won’t be glued to their screens on March 4 at O2 Arena –– will have to pay £16.95 (plus VAT) for the privilege.
Back next week, I promise.