By Frank Warren
WE WERE VERY proud last week to officially announce a significant addition to the Queensberry heavyweight ranks with the signing of the exceptionally talented Moses Itauma.
Just turned 18, Moses will join the world of professional boxing on January 28 as part of our huge show at the OVO Arena, Wembley, which is headlined by the world light heavyweight title showdown between unified champion Artur Beterbiev and our man Anthony Yarde.
It is a fitting stage to launch the pro career of the World and European Youth champion and it is made extra special by his older brother Karol fighting for his first title on the card at light heavyweight.
The signing of Moses strengthens our already sturdy grip on the heavyweight handle and we are well represented across the levels, which are obviously topped by the No.1 heavyweight in the world and WBC champion, Tyson Fury.
Moses joins another recent addition in Boma Brown in the top prospect category, with David Adeleye probably falling into the band of established prospects.
Then we are also lucky enough to have the WBO Interim champion Joe Joyce and WBA regular champion Daniel Dubois both poised to seize their moment when full title opportunities open up.
They talk about trickle down economics in political circles, while in boxing the same seems to be the case when the heavyweight division is booming. Bigger shows lead to more opportunities for others to shine in front of bumper audiences.
I expect this to be the case for a lot of our young fighters when Tyson, Joe and Daniel are in action this year.
When I started out in boxing the heavyweight scene was dominated by American fighters and the British heavies were labelled in unflattering terms by US commentators.
I’ve enjoyed a fair bit of previous with the British big fellas, taking Herbie Hide and Frank Bruno to world title success and both Matt Skelton and Derek Chisora fought for world titles.
Nothing like what we have at Queensberry today though and an era where our heavyweights are the world’s best, while the US has endured a period in the doldrums.
As you will have heard from Moses himself, he harbours an ambition to be the youngest heavyweight champion in history, setting himself the target of beating Mike Tyson to the punch.
I am fully supportive of our fighters setting the bar high and, if it is the right move when the time comes, we will certainly do our bit and make it happen for him.
That is for the future though and I want Moses to enjoy his apprenticeship and get himself accustomed to the trappings of fame that come with being a high-profile heavyweight. I also hope the public enjoy the journey with him and get right behind a future superstar of the sport.
BRITISH BOXING IS back on the box this weekend from the AO Arena in Manchester and Queensberry welterweight Ekow Essuman is putting his British, Commonwealth and IBF European titles on the line against the WBC International Silver champion Chris Kongo.
This is a good fight for Ekow and an ideal opportunity to make an early start to his year’s work. We’ve obviously got every confidence in our man doing the business and then returning to the fold to push towards European and world honours.
Good luck Ekow!