He was criticised in some quarters for showing a lack of love for the Titanic City over the years but Frank Warren now seems to have been bitten by the Belfast boxing bug and claims the city is the capital of boxing.
The experienced promoter’s absence for BoxNation-broadcast shows last year and indeed some Carl Frampton press conferences promoted some to suggest the boxing-mad town was not high on the Londoner’s list of priorities.
However, just like Frampton’s opponent on Saturday night, Nonito Donaire, the man who worked closely with Steve Collins seems to have realised just how special a fight city Belfast really is and was very complimentary following his new charge’s WBO interim featherweight title win at the SSE Odyssey Arena.
Warren claims he will deliver on his Windsor Park promise and seems excited to be bringing what could prove a historic night to the city in August – and also couldn’t contain his pleasure at being involved in Michael Conlan’s homecoming clash set for the Odyssey on June 30th.
The English promoter didn’t mention a possible September return for world bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett or the numerous small hall shows that may play out in between, but he did rightly note that Belfast is buzzing boxing wise at present to such a degree it’s unrivaled around Britain and Ireland in terms of the noble art.
“We have a lot coming up now. We have the 30th of June as well, Mick Conlan’s professional homecoming debut. This is becoming the capital of UK boxing there really is no doubt about it,” Warren told BBC NI.
“You have the fighters and it’s great. We were sold out tonight and you get the most brilliant atmosphere, the crowd was so passionate. We now have the two shows coming up and the big cheery on that cake will be a that show at Windsor Park.”
After his split with Cyclone and the McGuigans, a Windsor Park fight night was high on ‘The Jackal’s’ list of demands when talking to the numerous interested promoters and it was promised to him by Warren.
The promoter with a BT Sport deal claims he will now deliver on that promise and will bring a stadium fight night to his new favourite boxing city this Summer.
“My word is my bond and we are going to be doing that in August. We are negotiating and we will work that out,” he stated before discussing the situation regarding opponents.
“We will see what happens with the [Josh] Warrington and [Lee] Selby [IBF title] fight which is on May 19th in Leeds. that’s one possibility the winner of that.”
“Then you have [Oscar] Valdez who is the [WBO]champion he has now got to fight the interim champion so Carl is in a great position there.”
“So there is that and a couple of other things we are looking at, but what ever happens we will be there in Windsor Park helping to fulfill his dream.”
“It’s privledge for me to for me to be involved in it my job is to make these things happen behind the scenes, but he has the tough job he has to deliver in the ring. He has done his part so now I have to do mine,” he continued before praising Frampton’s performance.
“What I was impressed with tonight was his composure, he controlled the fight and kept it at his level against a class class operator in and out of the ring and came away with the prize. That was all that mattered it was about getting that interim title and he done it.”