Frank Warren has blasted rival promoter Eddie Hearn for staging his event on the same day Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton clash as the latest chapter of their public dispute plays out.
Warren’s main event sees Warrington put his IBF featherweight title on the line against Frampton in Manchester, while Matchroom boss Hearn has his card headlined by the heavyweight rematch between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora at the O2.
Warren, 66, joined the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on Friday morning and was asked whose decision it was to put both fights on the same day.
“Well, it wasn’t mine – it is stupid,” Warren responded.
“It is like Arsenal and Spurs playing at home on the same day, just doesn’t happen.
“We announced our date back in August… obviously (Eddie) Hearn and Sky decided they wanted to run a show on the same night and go up against us.
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“But, you know what happens at Christmas – you have to be aware of cheap imitations, you’ve got to be out there and buy the real one.
“This is the real fight and these guys are the best.
“This is not a recycled fight.
“You know Dereck Chisora, I think he has won one of his eight meaningful fights and Dillian Whyte got knocked out in seven rounds by Anthony Joshua. It’s a good domestic fight, but that’s what it is. It isn’t pay-per-view.”
Saturday’s featherweight battle sees unbeaten Warrington defend his belt for the first time and while many are backing Frampton to prevail, Warren feels the fight is evenly poised.
“Everybody has got an opinion on it; it’s a real 50/50 fight,” Warren added.
“I mean it’s two guys at the top of their game, they are both excellent fighters. They’re probably in the top four fighters in the world in their weight division.
“It is a great fight, these fights come along very few and far between when guys at their best are fighting each other. We are in for a cracker on BT Box Office tomorrow.
“Carl is just over 30 but he has a lot of gas left in the tank and Josh is coming through. In his last fight he beat Lee Selby, who a lot of boxing writers felt was the pound for pound best fighter in Britain; he done a job on him, really took him apart.
“So this has all the ingredients of a great fight – they’re both on it, both in great condition, they were at the press conference on Wednesday and they are really up for it. It’s a big moment for both.
While a rematch would not be out of the question, the winner is likely to fight in America afterwards.
“It depends really, who knows how it is going to turn out maybe a rematch,” Warren continued.
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“I have been talking to Bob Arum, who has got (Oscar) Valdes who is the WBO champion. He is a cracking fighter – he beat Scott Quigg – and those talks are quite far advanced now.
“I am hoping the winner will be there in a unification match – that’s the direction we want to go with the winner.”
A stacked undercard will include Martin Murray and the return of Billy Joe Saunders, and Warren wants the former WBO middleweight champion to use the fight to shake off 13 months worth of ring rust following his suspension.
Tyson Fury will also be in attendance, with his brother Tommy making his professional debut.
Warren continued: “He (Saunders) is fighting an African guy. I’ve got to be honest, we put it in in the last minute – I just want to get him out there.
“He (Saunders) must be 20/1, 30/1 to win this fight, but I want to get him back into fighting mode so in the new year he can get his title back
“I know what he (Fury) will be doing on Saturday; he’ll be at the MEN Arena doing some commentating for BT, watching Billy Joe Saunders have his first fight in 18 months, and at Christmas he will be putting his feet up and enjoying himself with his family.”