Frank Warren makes Windsor proposal to Ryan Burnett


Frank Warren has added an interesting new dimension to his campaign to get a Ryan Burnett v Zolani Tete fight on.

The boxing veteran promotes WBO bantamweight champion Tete, and has been looking to make a fight with Belfast’s unified IBF/WBA champion since the Summer – and has now dangled the possibility of sharing a card with Carl Frampton at Windsor Park in front of Burnett.

Before Zhanat Zhakiyanov was announced as Burnett’s most recent opponent, Warren tried to hijack the negotiations, offering up Tete to fight on the Matchroom bill and pledging to pay the South African’s entire purse as well as paying Burnett an additional £20,000 – theoretically also freeing Matchroom up to give some or all of what they would have paid Zhakiyanov to Burnett.

In reality the fight with the Kazakh was most likely already agreed, however Warren’s offer attracted a lot of attention.

The Queensberry boss then put Tete on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s homecoming bout at the SSE Odyssey Arena at the weekend, with ‘Last Born’ defending his title against countryman Siboniso Gonya courtesy of an eye-catching  11-second knockout, the quickest in world title history.

Afterwards Warren said he would restart negotiations and noted how “Let’s be honest, what we’re here for tonight – we want to make the Ryan Burnett fight.”

“I’m going to speak to Adam Booth. I don’t know what his [Burnett’s] contractual position is regarding promotional rights, but I’ll speak to him and we’ll do our best to make it. It’s an ideal fight to make for this city.”

“I would imagine the lad [Burnett] himself would be more than up for attempting to add another piece to the two he already holds in the world bantamweight jigsaw. Zolani’s holding a belt, why wouldn’t those two guys get it on? It’s a great fight, and for Belfast it’s a fantastic fight and we’d love to put it on.”

“Ryan is a very talented young fighter and doubtless he would like to test himself against a proven top operator such as Tete, who would happily travel back to his hometown to make it happen. Whether those around him feel the same, we will have to wait and see.”

Warren was then asked the possibility of putting the fight on as part of a double header with Carl Frampton’s dream Windsor date at the end of next Summer.

This is something which Warren is not keen on, instead preferring for a fight early next year.

However, the Londoner proposed that, if Burnett fights and beats Tete, that he could be rewarded with a slot on the card when Frampton fights at Windsor Park

“Do we want to wait that long?” questioned Warren when the idea of Burnett v Tete at Windsor was put forward.

“How doable is it? They [Matchroom] can put it on. I want my man to fight, I don’t care. I do not care. I know my man’s going to win the fight so I don’t care.”

“We could get that [Burnett v Tete] on anyway and, if Ryan wins, Ryan could be on the same [Windsor] card as Carl – if he wins!”

Burnett and Frampton are, of course, close friends having been training partners under Gerry Storey around the turn of the decade, with Frampton just starting out as a pro while Burnett was one of the stand-out stars in the vest, worldwide, at Youth level.

dpg

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie