THE FRANK WARREN COLUMN
By Frank Warren
THE ACTION AND atmosphere matched the stunning location when we turned back time and boxing made its long-awaited return to the Royal Albert Hall last Friday night.
It was a fantastic evening and the reaction from the fans has been overwhelmingly positive. If you missed out this time around, don’t worry, because we will be back there soon enough to showcase again our fine crop of London fighters at the hugely popular venue that a new generation of fans are getting the chance to experience.
The final fight of an entertaining card saw Anthony Yarde reinforce his credentials as a world level light heavyweight with an emphatic victory over the confident and capable Travis Reeves.
The American just had no answer when Anthony hit his rhythm and it did seem like our man picked the moment where he wanted it to be over. I’ve watched the fight back and again you can see how Anthony establishes control of fights.
Once he clips somebody for the first time they go onto the defensive and the authoritative Anthony then controls the tempo of the fight. When you have got a big puncher like Anthony, opponents get a bit wary and this allows him to dictate the tempo and slip through the gears, which is what he did.
He took a couple himself, but he manages to ride them by tucking that chin under his shoulder and maintaining a good distance. You always look at the good things, but I would like to see him lift that right hand up a little bit more to the side of his chin.
Anthony isn’t the finished article yet, but he is a fantastic specimen of a fighter and he is nice guy too, a real decent fella. What was telling was they both weighed in exactly the same and Anthony looked a weight above on the night, which is never a bad sign.
There has been lots of talk about what happens next and we will find out soon enough, but I want to get Anthony out again soon so he is not sitting about waiting. I think the WBO will reach a decision in the next week or so regarding a mandatory call, so we will no more then.
Daniel Dubois executed a spectacular finish against Razvan Cojanu and I think he made a bit of a statement in there with his second round stoppage.
He probably did more of a job on him than Luis Ortiz and that can’t be bad for a kid who had only had nine fights beforehand.
Watching his ruthless approach to his boxing, you would not believe what a nice kid Daniel is and the truth of the matter is he just loves doing what he does. He is one who was born and bred to box, no doubt about that.
Daniel’s focus is solely on improvement and going through the levels and it can be this way because he has got such good people around him. Martin Bowers and the team at the Peacock Gym are different class and they are doing a terrific job of growing Daniel as a fighter, as is Tunde Ajayi with Anthony.
You could see on Friday that Daniel had taken everything on board from the Kevin Johnson fight, with him throwing much more body shots and showing greater variety in his work.
Another one with blistering speed and power in his shot repertoire is Liam Williams, who was brutally effective in ending the night of Joe Mullender in their British title clash.
He picked his shots and looked so good going about his work. I want to move him up now and get him a decent fight in the next couple of months. He wants to fight for a world title, he has been to that level and that is where we’ve got to get him back to.
Liam has settled himself down at middleweight and I think he looks very comfortable at the weight. He says he can do both, but he does look a considerable force at 160lbs. He is a very good fighter.
Not so efficient in doing his job in the fight was the referee Bob Williams, who I thought was poor in allowing any more punches to the thrown after the first knockdown. His scoring was also well out in the Garton-Jenkins fight and I don’t know what he was watching there.
Refs are there to protect fighters and Joe could not protect himself. The referee should protect him in those instances, it is what he is there for.
The fact Liam made the point to the referee himself after the fight tells you something and also about Liam, who has witnessed tragic events in a boxing ring from close quarters
The board need to ensure there is some accountability when errors of judgement occur. It shouldn’t just be forgotten about or swept under the carpet. This is not football where you might miss a hand ball or offside, this is dangerous stuff where people need to be accountable and if they are not up to it then they have got to go back to the drawing board and learn.
The other British title fight of night at welterweight between Johnny Garton and Chris Jenkins certainly lived up to its billing and it was a fight between two great blokes.
Both said before that it was a 50-50 and it was for a while before Jenkins took control and ended up a worthy winner
The fairy story came to an end for Johnny but he has made himself a few quid and he went further than he thought he would. He is a lovely fella and you couldn’t meet a better one.
I would also like to pay tribute and extend my appreciation to the fans that came out and made it a superb atmosphere on the night. Many hundreds of fans obviously came out to support Joe Mullender and Johnny Garton and it didn’t go their way, but they stayed and helped make it a memorable occasion and joined the ever-increasing support that got behind Daniel Dubois and Anthony Yarde too.
CONTRARY TO THE constant and prolific source of misleading bullshine, I should point out that Billy Joe Saunders, Josh Warrington and Daniel Dubois have not signed co-promotional deals with Top Rank and ESPN. Their fights will, indeed, be broadcast Stateside on ESPN, along with the rest of our shows as part of our long-term agreement to showcase our fighters to the US market.