Francis Warren tells Elliot Foster why he believes Queensberry Promotions’ summer schedule is superior to the opposition
Francis Warren has always been a big fan of people taking chances. The son of Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren was ringside on Friday as boxing returned in the UK. The BT Sport Studios in Stratford, London was the setting as Brad Foster secured the British super-bantamweight title for keeps while also retaining his Commonwealth belt at 122lbs, against James Beech Jr.
There are a further 12 behind-closed-doors cards scheduled in Britain over the next few weeks, culminating in the Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view offering of Dillian Whyte’s WBC interim heavyweight title defence against Alexander Povetkin on the final of four fight nights at the Matchroom Boxing Fight Camp, a card that is also set to feature the highly anticipated rematch between Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon on August 22 at the company’s Brentwood HQ.
And though Hearn and Matchroom are coming back with a bang, Warren told Seconds Out that there was plenty more to come from their side of the fence.
“It’s just great to have boxing back after so long without it,” he said. “I believe our schedule will be better than anybody else’s because there will be no mismatches. All our fighters have had the balls to put their reputations on the line and I have to give them props for that, we didn’t really have to do much convincing with anybody and the fans are in for a real treat.”
There was a British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight title clash between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce made earlier this year but with COVID-19 putting paid to sport for a while and now, for the foreseeable, the ability to host sporting events with a crowd, the battle of the unbeaten duo has been moved back to October 24 at the O2 Arena in London and is set to be ticketed.
But before the pair meet, they will each fight in separate contests against respective opposition on different dates of Warren’s summer schedule. Dubois, the current British, Commonwealth, WBC Silver and WBO International king, will meet Erik Pfeifer at the BT Sport Studios on August 29. Pfeifer has a pro ledger of 7-0 with five quick and is probably best known as the man who lost to Anthony Joshua in the semi-final of the 2011 World Amateur Championships.
Joyce, meanwhile, returns on July 25 at the same venue against Michael Wallisch.
Wallisch, from Germany, has a record of 20-3 (13) and will go into the fight on the back of a stoppage defeat at the hands of Tony Yoka, the Frenchman who beat Joyce in the final of the 2016 Olympics in Rio to ensure “The Juggernaut” came away with just a silver medal.
“Daniel, we think, has it all and we’re firmly in the Dubois business, but we look after Joyce too and we wanted to give him the best opportunity to attempt to beat Daniel by giving him another fight first,” Francis explained. “Joe hasn’t fought for a year and Daniel’s last fight was just before Christmas so it made sense to give them warm-up fights before putting them in together because we want fans in at that event and we’ve pushed it back again to give ourselves the best chance of that happening.
“The fights for the pair before they fight each other also a real chance for both men to raise their profile to a wider audience ahead of a big pay-per-view night.”