Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

Only One Place To Be On Saturday!

By Frank Warren

(November 22nd) We’ve got an absolute banger of a show in prospect at The O2 on Saturday with six major titles on the line being fought for between British fighters.


The main course on the Greenwich Peninsula, of course, is the fascinating clash between Zach Parker and John Ryder for the WBO Interim world super middleweight title, with the prize of either fighting Canelo Alvarez or being elevated to full champion.


Zach, I believe, is a bit special and this is his chance to demonstrate as much to a much wider audience and gain the status his obvious talents deserve.


I reckon Zach has got world champion written all over him and I’ve been mightily impressed with what I have seen since we teamed up some 20 months ago and provided him with a showcase to push towards elite level.


He just looks the part. He can bang, he can switch and move, plus he is a good boxer. A formidable package he will need to employ in full against John Ryder, who possesses such vast experience and is enjoying something of a resurgence late on in his career.


John will rightly say he has fought better opponents and that is to be expected, given that he is 36 fights in and I have got enormous respect for the way he has stuck at it, come through adversity and made a success of himself in the sport.


What I always say though is that boxing is about timing. Zach is on the up and up and is fresh, fit and fierce. This is the sort of fight that will qualify him for competing at the higher level and I expect him to rise to the challenge.


This is a quality domestic fight that I have not heard a bad word said about. Of course, the original match was made with Demetrius Andrade and John was being lined up for alternative employment, but this fight just makes a whole lot of sense and I think it will deliver a greater spectacle than what was being teed up before.


You really don’t want to miss this fight, so be sure to tune in from 7pm on BT Sport.


Those who do switch on from the start are in for a treat because we’ve got a clutch of other fights that could well turn out to be explosive affairs.


Our charming and popular middleweight Hamzah Sheeraz is going for another title to add to the WBC Silver championship he already has his name on. He takes on River Wilson-Bent for the Commonwealth crown and this has got the makings of a terrific scrap.


Hamzah is obviously tipped for big things but, being a young man of just 22, he is building a career for himself and wants to take every step at the right time. I would like to put him in for the British next year and a fight like this against a good fighter in River is the perfect testing ground for such an ambition.


You know there will be no easy pickings against a quality and capable opponent such as River, who has fought on one of our shows before and we know what he is all about.


Our precocious super bantamweight star Dennis McCann will also face the biggest test to date on Saturday when he goes up against the tough Scot Joe Ham, also for the Commonwealth title.


Dennis is another where we shouldn’t forget his still tender years at just 21 and his opponents will always point to the hype surrounding him. Well, so far, he is living up to it and we need to make sure his challenges get a little steeper with every fight.


Joe is just the job because he was a hugely decorated amateur and, although he has not enjoyed the greatest opportunities as a pro, he is a veteran of coming up to 200 fights and he points out himself that he has never come close to being put down or stopped.


Also, Joe, River and Sam Noakes’ opponent Calvin McCord, have had plenty of time to get ready and prepare properly with the benefit of a full camp. There are no short notice jobs here.


Onto Sam, again he is fighting for the Commonwealth lightweight title against Calvin, as well as defending his WBC International Silver title. This is a good fight between two unbeaten fighters of huge promise.


Sam is obviously going for his goal of 10 stoppages from his first 10 fights and is one of the most exciting young prospects in the business, but we will certainly find out more about him by him taking on a British opponent with a comparable record.


Outside of our British prospects and contenders, don’t miss seeing Pierce O’Leary, the Dubliner fittingly known as ‘Big Bang’, who fights for the WBC International super lightweight title. This is a young man going places and I think he will be world title material in the next 12-18 months.


So, don’t worry about what is going on in the Australian jungle, BT Sport from 7pm is the place to be on Saturday night.


All our fighters did themselves proud on the Telford card on Saturday just gone, and none more so than the local lad made good, Liam Davies, who added the European super bantamweight championship and WBC International title to his British title belt.


As he said himself, he is rattling through the levels. English, WBC International Silver, British and now European and WBC International. Young Liam is a man on a mission and I am thrilled that he has become a headline attraction for us in Telford.


He totally outsmarted Ionut Baluta, much as he did to Marc Leach last time out and now he wants to push on to the world scene.


It was also an obvious delight to see Anthony Yarde come through unscathed against Stefani Koykov so that we could officially lock in his January 28 date at Wembley against the unified world light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev.


This will be some occasion for British boxing and a fantastic way to launch a new year for us at Queensberry. Starting as we mean to go on.


In closing, a special mention to Owen Cooper, who won the Midlands Area welterweight title in just his sixth fight against Jamie Stewart on Saturday. Only 22, he was so impressive in the way he set about the champion and clearly a bright future lies ahead.

From Bethel Green To Dubai To Las Vegas!

By Frank Warren

(November 16th) I think everybody will agree when I say that Denzel Bentley did himself proud in his bid to become a world champion on Saturday night over in Las Vegas.


Janibek Alimkhanuly has built up a fearsome reputation for speedy knockouts and the overriding narrative was that nobody wants to fight him. Well, Denzel did and now I suspect others will follow.


Let’s face it, Janibek was being built up as some sort of monster and few gave Denzel an earthly of getting past a few rounds. As I said in my preview beforehand, my own feeling was that if Denzel could put it on him from the start then we would find out if Janibek was all he is cracked up to be.


As well as he did – and he has got nothing to reproach himself for – I think when Denzel watches it back he might suffer a few pangs of regret over not attempting to force Janibek onto the back foot sooner than he did.


You are always going to be up against it if you let the first five or six rounds slip by against a good champion, who is unlikely to lose the whole second half of a fight.


When Denzel let his shots go and matched Janibek for purpose and aggression he was right in it and the Kazakh didn’t appear quite so formidable. I think in the second half of the fight Denzel showed that he could have the beating of this fella and he certainly proved that he belongs at the level.


I’ve no doubt that Denzel will come again and we will get him back in the world title mix before too long.


Also over the weekend, as Queensberry fighters performed across three continents, two new champions were added to our roll call. Over in Dubai, Henry Turner became WBC International Silver champion at super lightweight with a stunning knockout victory over Jorge Abel Bermudez and Louie Lynn won the WBC International featherweight title with a unanimous points win over Asad Asif Khan. Congratulations to both and also to Raven Chapman, who took her record to 5-0 with an impressive performance on the same card.


There was some explosive action at York Hall on Friday when Nick Ball reminded everyone why he is considered probably the most exciting young fighter in the country right now.


Nick demolished the capable Mexican Jesus Ramirez Rubio in less than two minutes to retain his WBC Silver featherweight title and demonstrated why he will quickly be in the running for a world title shot.


It seems to be a characteristic of the Everton Red Triangle Gym in that Nick is calm, cold and utterly ruthless in the way he goes about his work. It goes without saying that he has got a huge future in front of him and it will be fun to watch.


Heavyweight David Adeleye got himself back in the groove after injury with an impressive win and Willy Hutchinson looks to be a rejuvenated force at light heavy on what was a successful night for our younger element.


I'd like to send my best wishes to Callum Johnson following his announcement that he is to retire from the sport. He bows out with an impressive record, a number of title successes and he will be remembered as an exciting fighter who was always entertaining to watch.


Sadly he will also be remembered for his misfortune, particularly when Covid-19 denied him his shot at Joe Smith jr for the WBO world title in January. I know it was a devastating setback for Callum and it was a greater shame because I firmly believe he would have defeated Smith and become champion.


It is in the past now and I wish Callum health and happiness for the next stage of his life beyond boxing.


We are off to Telford on Saturday for a cracking show headed up by local lad Liam Davies fighting for the vacant European super bantamweight title and the WBC International belt held by his opponent Ionut Baluta.


We also have the return of Anthony Yarde to the ring ahead of his multi-world title challenge against Artur Beterbiev that is set for the end of January. Anthony needs to get the job done against the Bulgarian Stefani Koykov and avoid any mishaps. It isn’t ideal, but with the Beterbiev fight having been put back from October, Anthony needs some ring time to be in optimum condition for his big night.


Another fight to keep an eye out for on Saturday is the clash between Eithan James and Connor Parker for the WBO European super lightweight title and the Midlands Area title scrap between Jamie Stewart and Owen Cooper will be well worth a watch too.

Queensberry Flag Flying High!

By Frank Warren

(November 11th) We are heading into a big couple of nights for fighters in Queensberry colours, which will hopefully come to a conclusion with the crowning of a new WBO world middleweight champion.


First up, we are back at York Hall where our prospects will take centre stage, before attention will switch to Las Vegas and our man Denzel Bentley attempting to dethrone the feared world champion Janibek Alimkhanuly and fulfil a dream.


This weekend is actually a launchpad for an incredible run of shows and fights under the Queensberry banner or involving our fighters.


After York Hall and Denzel’s Dream, next Friday we have our annual Debra charity dinner show with four of our young fighters performing on the card – including a debut for our new heavyweight, big Boma Brown – before, the following night, we return to Telford for a cracking European super bantamweight title fight between Liam Davies and Ionut Baluta on a card that will also see the return of Anthony Yarde to the ring ahead of his world title challenge in January.


The Saturday after we have got the bumper show at the 02 Arena headlined by the WBO Interim world super middleweight title fight between Zach Parker and John Ryder and four other big title fights on the card featuring Hamzah Sheeraz, Dennis McCann, Sam Noakes and Pierce O’Leary.


Then, the week after, it is Tyson Fury time at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium where he defends against Derek Chisora, with Daniel Dubois defending his WBA world title against Kevin Lerena as chief support.


To cap it all, a week later, David Avanesyan goes up against a pound-for-pound great in Terence Crawford over in Omaha, Nebraska.


Back to Denzel. We know and he knows he is going to be up against it against an avoided fighter, but I have every confidence in Denzel to pull off an upset. It will be a fight well worth staying up – or getting up – for.


I’ve always rated our Battersea boy and have the highest regard for him as a bloke. He is a joy to work with, a proper professional who wanted to jump in the deep end right from the off. He comes from a team at the Peacock Gym who want to be in real fights that deliver for the public.


This approach can lead to the odd loss along the way, but it will pay dividends more often than not and a competitive loss in a 50-50 fight should never count against you. I always say, it is about how you lose that matters.


Part of my confidence over Denzel’s chances of causing an upset against the Kazakh comes from talking to his trainer and manager Martin Bowers. Martin knows his stuff and is utterly convinced his man will prevail if he does everything right on the night.


Martin has studied Alimkhanuly right back to his amateur days and knows what his charge is up against. I suspect the key will be to meet fire with fire and refuse to be bullied by a heavy-handed champion.


Fighters like Alimkhanuly, with a big reputation for putting lights out, often have their opponents beaten before the first bell as survival instincts kick in. Denzel needs to show no respect remember that he was not called the Battersea Banger for nothing earlier in his career.


While Bethnal Green might not quite compare with the Palms Casino Resort in Vegas, the popular London venue will be a theatre of dreams for our younger contingent on Friday.


Topping the prospect card (although a good bit beyond that tag himself) is our ferocious featherweight Nick Ball. Nick is such an exciting and fearless fighter and he will need that second quality because he is in for a tough encounter against the Mexican Jesus Ramirez Rubio, who holds a record of 20-1-3, with 14 KOs.


It should be an absolute cracker, with Nick’s WBC Silver title on the line and it is opponents of this quality that will help speed Nick along to a world title shot, hopefully next year.


David Adeleye is another who will really be looking to push on next year. He will clock up 10 fights as a pro on Friday and there is no reason why he shouldn’t be in the mix for a British title challenge next year.


He is big, charismatic and very talented, which is what you need in the heavyweights and I rate him highly. Tyson Fury has called on him for every recent training camp and he will have learned so much from seeing how a world champion goes about his work.


Willy Hutchinson is back at light heavyweight, which is really where he should have been all along. Losing out to Lennox Clarke for the British super middleweight title was a blow, but Willy has regrouped now and is ready to go again.


He was considered as one of Britain’s brightest talents not so long ago and we will see if he can recapture the magic and we will set him on his way up the world rankings.


I would like to officially welcome Carl Fail to Queensberry and the former decorated amateur will make his first appearance under our banner at York Hall. Carl, along with his twin brother Ben (who fights next Friday), are super welterweights of huge promise and they tell me they will be dominating the division before too long! I look forward to seeing it and helping them along.


Cruiserweight Aloys Jr Youmbi, featherweight Umar Khan and welterweight Sean Noakes complete the card and I am excited to see them all perform again.


I should also mention a selection of Queensberry fighters who have headed out to Dubai to feature as part of the Floyd Mayweather exhibition fight. Tommy Fury, Louie Lynn, Henry Turner, Chris Bourke and Raven Chapman are all experiencing a spot of winter sunshine and I wish them all every success in their fights.

The Queensberry flag is flying high in three different continents this weekend!


About Frank Warren

In an era spanning over 35 years, Hall of Fame boxing Promoter and Manager Frank Warren has worked with some of the biggest fighters in boxing history. Hamed, Bruno, Tyson, Calzaghe, Benn, Collins, Eubank, Khan and Hatton are some of the iconic names he has promoted during his career.



In 2011 Frank launched the innovative direct to consumer TV model, BoxNation as part of a vision that saw the sports TV market evolving from the traditional reliance on major satellite and cable broadcasters.


Since then BoxNation has gone from strength to strength becoming the UK’s fastest growing independent subscription broadcaster in the process and showcasing the biggest fights from at home and abroad, along the way.


Through Queensberry Promotions and BoxNation, the future of British boxing has never looked in such great shape.


About BT Sport

BT Sport is a group of pay television sports channels provided by BT Consumer; a division of BT Group in the United Kingdom and Ireland that was launched on 1 August 2013. The channels are based at the former International Broadcast Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

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