posted on: 01/06/2017

By Frank Warren

Saunders v Khurtsidze

I was told a couple of weeks ago about an interview with my Matchroom counterpart Eddie Hearn and – while you might be surprised to read this – I actually agreed with what he said.

Hearn was being questioned over the recent date clashes of our shows and he rightly stated that it was not a deliberate ploy by either party.

It is not in anyone’s best interests but, on some occasions, it is unfortunately unavoidable during busy periods.

The launch of our partnership with BT Sport kicking off a little later than we first anticipated resulted in us block-booking four shows for our spring schedule, unaware at the time that our promotions in Leicester and Leeds would clash with Matchroom dates.

We needed to get the show on the road so there was no room for manoeuvre on our side. It is certainly not something you set out to do though and it has always been a scenario we have sought to avoid.

I know fans have the option of watching one show and recording the other to watch later, but boxing is a sport best viewed live and another factor is that all you are doing is dividing the audience which, in turn, affects the broadcaster.

With the spring dates now done and early slots having been reserved for the summer, we once again end up finding ourselves up against a date clash.

We are booked in on July 8 at the Copper Box for a WBO world middleweight title defence by Billy Joe Saunders against the Brooklyn-based banger Avtandil Khurtsidze.

Despite July being a relatively clear month, Channel 5 have opted to screen super lightweight match between Josh Taylor and OHara Davies on the same night.

It is an odd decision to actually choose to go on the same night and I believe it shows a lack of respect to the fans because they wouldn’t do it for a live football match

It is not fair on the fighters either because all you are doing is splitting an audience.

It doesn’t matter who wins numbers-wise, the fact is you are splitting it when it doesn’t have to be the case.

Hearn suggests greater communication is required between promoters or broadcasters and he might just be right.

After all, as they used to say in the BT ads, it’s good to talk.


The Channel 5 fight in July is being billed as a match between the two bright young things of the super lightweight division and I do not deny they are both talented.

But we have a young man on our books who I believe has the potential to become the best of the lot.

Josh Leather

Josh Leather put a big marker down in May with his sixth round stoppage of Philip Sutcliffe jnr. It was a real 50-50 match for Josh and the win tops anything currently on the record of either Taylor or Davies.

I thought Josh was excellent on the night in winning the IBF Intercontinental title. He is a good fighter, the kid, and I believed in him from when I first saw him win in the ABA finals.

I said to our guys to get hold of him because I wanted to meet him and we signed him. I just knew he had something about him and he is a good fighter.

Taylor v Davies is obviously an interesting fight in what is a really lively domestic division with many more big fights there to be made.

Not forgetting British champion Tyrone Nurse and Jack Catterall, who will look to cement their place at the top of the pecking order when they get it on later in the summer.

More from Frank tomorrow on Friday’s fight night at Brentwood


Catch up on the latest news from our events and stable of fighters

See all news

Never miss an event

Sign up for newsletter and receive the updates about the upcoming fights
Newsletter Signup:
©2023 Frank Warren