YORK HALL MAKES IT A DOUBLE
By Frank Warren
On Thursday and Friday of this week our ring will be parked up at the famous York Hall in Bethnal Green for successive nights of quality boxing where our young talents will be given the opportunity to continue their development.
The fledgling fighters love punching their weight at one of the sport’s most atmospheric venues and boxing fans who like a glimpse into the future are certainly in for a treat.
Thursday night’s promotion is more about polishing up our prospects ahead of them potentially taking the plunge at the next level. We have so many exciting young fighters in our stable and I have every confidence that most of them will ultimately experience the sensation of having championship belts wrapped around their waists.
But it is a building process, we have to bring them along at the right pace and it is not a one-size-fits-all approach – some are always more ready than others to increase the rounds or be exposed to more ambitious and dangerous opponents.
The principal aim for most fighters is to keep busy, to continue learning this tough trade. That is why small hall shows such as these really serve their purpose.
Believe me, it is not a money-making exercise – anything but. With the number of quality young boxers on the shows and the amount of tickets available, the numbers simply do not stack up.
These are occasions where I have to take a hit – in the pocket! I am prepared to do it though because, as I have explained in previous columns, we are about nurturing our stable and developing our prospects into champions.
That takes investment and promotions such as these are one example of that.
On the Thursday I am particularly looking forward to Darryll Williams making his debut under our promotional banner. The unbeaten 26-year-old, known as ‘Ferocious’, is the Southern Area champion, not short of power, and I fully expect him to make big strides in the super middleweight division.
Terrific talents such as Boy Jones Jr, Archie Sharp, Sam McNess and Sanjeev Sahota continue their professional journeys, while there is also the professional debut of decorated amateur star Charlie Driscoll and an appearance from 13-0 welterweight Johnny Coyle.
Originally it was Ovill McKenzie who was due to compete for the belt, but injury has opened the door for the ever-ready Enzo to have a third shot at the title, having been successful in Saint Petersburg in 2010.
A win, coupled with his recent destruction of Roy Jones Jr in Moscow, would put Enzo right back in the mix. I’m sure his name won’t be far from the lips of Ovill too when he returns to fighting fitness. Or what about the Liverpool lip Tony Bellew, what a bang up that would be.
In support of the main event, I once again urge you to feast your eyes on the boxing beast that is Anthony Yarde. I am really excited by this young man and believe he has got what it takes, as has Leon Woodstock, the explosive and exciting Leicester lightweight who has already bestowed on himself the alias of ‘The King’. Let’s hope there is a crowning glory ahead for the 22-year-old.
We also have the BoxNation bow of super bantamweight prospect Lucien Reid, who recently joined up with us to further his boxing education.
It should be some double-header at London’s iconic home of boxing.
This week, the Channel of Champions is paying tribute to the greatest champion of them all following the passing of Muhammad Ali at the weekend.
As a specialist boxing station, it is only right that we lead the way in celebrating the life of a, not only sporting, but global icon and the BoxNation schedule is punctuated with some fascinating and exclusive programming, much of it available on freeview and later on catch-up.
Last night Jim Rosenthal hosted a special live tribute show alongside veteran boxing writers Colin Hart and Alan Hubbard, who both consider themselves privileged to have covered the career of Ali as he captivated the public across the continents winning and defending the heavyweight championship of the world.
We also broadcast a rarely seen BBC documentary from the early sixties called ‘I Cassius’ presented and narrated by legendary commentator Harry Carpenter.
Tonight (Wed) we feature ‘The Richest Prize in Sport’, which traces the journey of Ali from winning Olympic gold to being stripped of the title in 1967. Steve Bunce will continue the theme in his Boxing Hour on Thursday.
More from Frank tomorrow