Warrington vs Frampton and Whyte vs Chisora on same night is low blow for boxingDecember 21, 2018
Josh Warrington defends his IBF world featherweight title at Manchester Arena against Carl Frampton, Ireland’s former champion.
That is featured on BT, in what could be the domestic fight of the year.
Stupidly, at the same time, heavyweights Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora have their expected slugging re-match, to be seen on Sky, at London’s O2 Arena.
Both are pay-per-view fights and this idiotic situation won’t only hit the four fighters hard in their pockets — because of split audiences — it is bound to alienate loyal customers faced with the dilemma of which one to buy.
Promoter Frank Warren announced his Manchester event long before bitter rival Eddie Hearn revealed he was putting on an O2 show the same night.
Hearn denied that this regrettable state of affairs has been engineered for the sole purpose of putting a huge financial dent in BT’s PPV figures.
Eddie, pleading not guilty, explained the reason we have this dubious double-up is simply because the only large arena available to him this month was The O2 on December 22.
But he admitted this conflict of interests is going to cost his Matchroom company at least 50,000 buys — and that equates to £1million.
Hearn said: “With PPV, the fighters will each earn more than £1m. Without PPV they might earn three or four hundred grand each.
“But what we are going to lose on PPV we’ll make up on the gate.”
Warren, understandably irate, was his usual forthright self. He said: “It is about Matchroom and Sky wanting to drive out BT.
“I find it frustrating. I find it insulting for the fans and insulting for the fighters.
“It’s disrespectful for Josh and Carl, but ultimately it’s damaging to the sport.
“It’s taking money out of the boxers’ pockets. It’s a joke. It’s disgraceful.
“Warrington and Frampton is a great fight and people will buy it. By comparison Whyte-Chisora is a Donkey Derby.”
Boxing purists are sure to opt for the world title tussle which is contested by two extremely high-class performers.
Unfortunately, the casual viewer will no doubt find the lure of the bash, bang, wallop of the big boys irresistible.
That’s why Sky is going to win this particular ratings war.
I expect Warrington and Frampton will provide a thrilling close-run thing over the 12 rounds. Josh’s youth and ambition should just about help edge a points win.
Two years ago Whyte and Chisora had a non-stop barnstormer with Dillian getting home on a split decision.
Whyte has vastly improved since then and with the incentive of possibly challenging Anthony Joshua at Wembley on April 13, this time I expect him to stop Chisora after halfway.
There was a time when the British Boxing Board of Control wouldn’t allow two major fights in the same week let alone the same evening.
Now the TV companies, the sports’ main financiers, dictate when and where big fights take place.
Surely their executives can see the folly of this weekend’s ego trip and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
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