Frank Warren blames heavyweight rivals for not taking proposed Fury fights in defence of Fury-Ngannou

Promoter Frank Warren has defended the move by Tyson Fury to face former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and insisted that despite the later lack of professional boxing experience, it was the best option available for Fury.

Fury, the WBC world heavyweight world champion, will face Ngannou on October 28 in Saudi Arabia. It was announced recently by Warren and fellow promoters, Top Rank.

The contest, which will not see Fury’s world title at stake, was also officially approved by the WBC in allowing Fury to pursue the opportunity with Ngannou without the risk of his title being stripped. The contest will take under professional rules with scoring judges, and the fight will be registered on each fighter’s professional record.

The announcement sent shockwaves throughout the boxing world and was seen as distasteful by many throughout the sport. So far this year the sport has seen failed negotiations between Fury & Usyk for a proposed undisputed heavyweight title showdown. Fury had presented a date of April 29 for a contest to be held at Wembley Stadium was close to being agreed upon, but financial elements regarding possible rematch obligations still needed to be agreed upon.

In recent weeks Fury and Warren had proposed an offer to Anthony Joshua to challenge for the WBC world title in September. Still, that proposal was quickly refused by Joshua’s representatives 258 management.

Frank spoke to seconds out and defended his and Fury’s attempts to secure fights with legitimate boxers in credible title defences, and they have done all that they could do in negotiations.

“What can you do?” Warren told SecondsOut. “We’ve been trying to [make credible titles defences for Fury]. First of all, it’s got to make commercial sense. You know, you can’t have Ruiz saying you want $20 million, and that’s the one coming over here, so that’s a dead duck. You also got a situation where fighting for the title doesn’t seem to be what guys want to do. Joshua would much rather—he just had a warm-up fight—would much rather go and fight a guy that Tyson has beaten rather than fight for the WBC title on a 60/40 basis.

“Think about all the nonsense they come up with for excuses, you know? We went down that road last December; we wasted a lot of time on it. One person on the other side (Joshua camp) was honest about it, saying they never thought it was going to happen, [Joshua] never had a trainer at the time, etc.

“Had we known that, we wouldn’t have wasted any time on it. What can we do? The fight everybody wants to see, including us, including Tyson because he called it out and made the offer, and they accepted, was Usyk. And they walked away. And they walked away because they thought they were walking away into better and bigger things. That’s why they did it. Now they are where they are, and we are where we are.”