THE FRANK WARREN COLUMN
By Frank Warren
THERE WILL BE a hint of glitz and glamour beefing up the supporting cast when we make our return to the Copper Box Arena on December 21 for our aptly titled show ‘The Fight Before Christmas’.
I would advise getting in quickly where snapping up tickets is concerned because this Christmas stocking is overloaded with fights of genuine quality that I am looking forward to revealing to you all.
We didn’t want to rush out all the announcements at our media gathering inside the BT Tower on Monday because there are a few little loose ends to tie up. The fights are made and we are just awaiting confirmation of the title belts that will be fought for on the night.
Believe me, there are some proper little bangers on the card and I shouldn’t imagine anybody will be disappointed.
What we were in a position to showcase at the iconic Tower in London was the already flagged up heavyweight confrontation between Daniel Dubois and Kyotaro Fujimoto.
This represents a positive step forward for Daniel as we seek to top up his experience levels ahead of what will hopefully be a big year in 2020. The 33-year-old Japanese carries decent credentials, has only lost once and is the holder of the WBO Asia-Pacific title.
He also holds a strong ranking – No.12 – with the WBA, which is the only organisation yet to recognise Daniel as a top 15 heavyweight. Beating Fujimoto will see him ranked across the board and with plenty of options as we plot a route to having him reach a mandatory position over the course of the next 12 months.
That is the aim. Daniel will be pushed forward into world title contention when the timing and terms are right for him. He won’t fight for the convenience of anybody else and being a mandatory contender wins you certain rights and avoids all the ducking and diving that you often have to negotiate a way through.
First of all though, Daniel has to deal with Fujimoto who, even though he is pretty much an unknown quantity to some, he comes with a pedigree and won’t be coming to lose.
The stakes are raised in this fight by the WBC Silver title being put on the line – along with Daniel’s WBO International belt – and these are the prizes that really propel fighters up the rankings and turn them into genuine contenders. Dillian Whyte made three defences of the belt and was installed as WBC No.1 along the way.
He really should have been steered towards a world title shot in all the time he has held top spot and I assure you we won’t mishandle Daniel’s passage to heavyweight stardom.
All the belts are tied up at the moment with Tyson Fury heading into a return with Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua set to rematch Andy Ruiz jr. The winner out of Joshua-Ruiz is then going to have mandatory obligations put on him, so much of next year is already mapped out.
This gives us the time and scope to steer Daniel into position.
The glitz and glamour I mentioned in my introduction will be delivered by young Tommy Fury, our light heavyweight of Love Island fame.
Tommy is a smart individual who saw an opportunity to increase his public profile by entering the reality show and he was able to showcase his personality to a huge audience who will hopefully now intend to keep tabs on his boxing career.
It couldn’t really have worked out any better for the 20-year-old, who emerged from eight weeks of splendid isolation in a sun-kissed villa in Majorca with a partner in Molly-Mae Hague and over three million followers on Instagram.
So he has had a little play at the fame game and now it is back to work. The pressure on him to succeed as a pro will have increased due to the public awareness of his occupation, but Tommy remains very grounded and I am sure he will take the added attention in his stride.
Just because he is famous does not mean we will now just sling him in at the deep end. He has had only two professional fights and Tommy’s career still needs to be nurtured and not rushed.
He is back in the fold now and we will move him along at the right pace, keep him active and see if we can develop another champion from the Fury family.
I am told there will be something of a Love Island 2019 reunion at the Copper Box, but the only reality TV on December 21 worth watching will be in the ring, live on BT. It doesn’t get more real than that.