By Frank Warren
On Friday we hosted a big fight party that packed a punch for the Queensberry Youth and all our young talents got to enjoy a top night on the bash at the Copper Box Arena.
I am thrilled that BT Sport have got behind the concept of ‘The Prospects’ and they understand the value of giving young fighters a showcase early on in their careers, which will benefit both themselves and the boxers in the long run.
I really enjoyed the show on Friday, there was something of a carnival atmosphere with little armies of fans there in support of a particular boxer. We had 10 fights on the card and all 10 winners, plus Amin Jahanzeb, really increased their stock and experience, which is what it is all about.
I mention Amin there, who can take away plenty of positives from his performance in the main event against Louie Lynn. It was a cracking fight that got the Copper Box rocking and there wasn’t much in it when a nasty cut above Louie’s eye brought it to a slightly premature conclusion.
I felt that Louie had done just about enough to get the nod, but it wouldn’t have been a shock if it had gone the other way. Amin fought a really smart fight to partly nullify Louie’s typical onslaughts and it is just a pity that, when it got a bit scrappy late on, the heads came together and the fight was rightly called to a halt and taken to the cards.
Unfortunately, so severe was the cut, Louie will be looking at a lengthy spell out of the ring, which will be a real hardship for him because he lives and breathes the sport. We will bring him back at the earliest opportunity and there is a tasty little fight that can be made with another of our featherweights, Nick Ball, or there remains the possibility of doing it again with Amin.
Mark Chamberlain showed again why he is close to moving out of the prospect category and the lightweight starlet clocked up four rounds in dealing with the threat of a dangerous Ghanaian with a good few KOs to his name in Benjamin Lamptey.
We all know Mark is capable of blasting out opponents in the opening seconds, but I like the way he took his time and assessed the job in front of him before looking for a finish.
People will continue to talk about us matching him with fellow Queensberry lightweight Sam Noakes and I am all for it. It would be a great fight now, make no mistake, but with a bit more experience for both and titles on the line it will be far more lucrative for the boxers and a fight of far greater magnitude for the fans.
It is a classic domestic dust-up that we can leave brewing for a little while yet.
I would say all our fighters caught the eye on the night, but I will pick out just a few more. Karol Itauma has got class written all over him and I am so looking forward to him adding himself to the elite light heavyweight mix in the years to come, while I also very much liked the look of Joe Gallagher’s young charge Callum Thompson, who showed that he knows his way around the ring in just his second pro fight.
Josh Frankham also showed significant improvements in recording his first stoppage victory. He is an exciting prospect who I am sure is going to progress over time, into a championship contender and it is pleasing when you see such obvious development, fight to fight.
Friday was just the beginning. We have a huge pool of top notch young fighters awaiting their turn in the spotlight and the aim to put on in the region of eight prospect shows a year in addition to our current output.
I am delighted we have been able to deliver this for our youngsters and, by all accounts, it delivered good ratings across the board. It allows us to not only keep them active, but also gives them a platform to showcase themselves to the widest possible audience and build a following outside of friends and family who can track the journey from beginning to end.
IT WAS, OF course, a big shame that we lost our Saturday show due to an injury suffered by Sunny Edwards ahead of the first defence of his IBF world flyweight title against Jayson Mama. It obviously caused no end of issues with us having opponents flying into the country having completed quarantine and other assorted problems.
Late withdrawals affect everybody concerned but none more than Sunny himself, who had been putting in the work from a matter of days after his title triumph over Moruti Mthalane.
When a fight falls through or is delayed through injury the sceptics tend to have a field day and seek to cast doubt on the validity of the ailment. All sorts of conspiracy theories abound.
Sunny is disappointed that some people have questioned his reasons for withdrawing. I know full well that pulling out of a fight is an absolute last resort for Sunny and he has fought at considerably less than 100% in the past.
The fact of the matter is he sustained a severely swollen ankle while taking his dogs out with the irony being, only hours before, he completed a six mile run with his brother with no problems at all.
It was a costly dog walk and Sunny must now give himself the time to heal properly and not cut any corners with his recovery.
YOU MIGHT HAVE seen that I ventured up to Morecambe to catch up with Tyson Fury last week for a promotional push ahead of his trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder on October 9, live on BT Sport Box Office.
Mercifully, after an incredibly distressing time for all the family, Tyson and Paris’ newborn Athena has been given a clean bill of health by the doctors and the heavyweight champ has now turned his mind towards a huge night in Vegas.
I have to say I have rarely seen Tyson look so well. He is in fantastic nick and a great frame of mind – all of which is bad news for Mr Wilder. In the heavyweights there is always a puncher’s chance, but even that will probably not be enough for Wilder because Tyson has taken his best shot before and got up all guns blazing.
Wilder could not do likewise when Tyson put it on him and my bet is a repeat performance.