Frank Warren passionately defended his decision to stage Tyson Fury’s next fight against Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia.
The Gypsy King will clash with former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ngannou in the Middle East on October 28.
Fury, one of boxing’s two reigning world heavyweight champions, has been on the hunt for a new opponent since his landslide victory over Derek Chisora at Wembley Stadium in December.
However, after a proposed undisputed battle with Oleksandr Usyk failed to materialize earlier this year, and Anthony Joshua passed up the opportunity to face him in September, the Gypsy King has now been forced to turn to Ngannou.
This drew criticism from boxing fans who were unhappy that Fury was not facing a fellow heavyweight. They were also fed up that he was fighting someone who had never fought professionally, while it was revealed that his WBC title would not be on the line.
Frank Warren defended the choice to host Tyson Fury’s next fight against Francis Ngannou
Fury will face the MMA legend (right) in Saudi Arabia in October after potential high-profile fights with fellow heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua fell through.
And Warren got into a heated debate with Andy Townsend and Andy Goldstein when they discussed the fight after being riled up by suggestions that it was “easy” for Fury.
“These are two guys who are the best in their relative sports, that’s what they are,” he said in talk sport.
‘One is the UFC champion, he holds the Guinness World Records as the hardest puncher in history and he is with Tyson.
‘Let me tell you, why did we make the fight? Because we tried to make the Usyk fight, we tried to make the Joshua fight and none of them wanted to know.
‘Who else is out there? First of all, this whole division was stagnant, stagnant. Everyone was expecting a great show in December.
“We were told, a couple of weeks ago, that this will be pushed back to fall 2024.
‘So what are we supposed to do? Sit waiting? They said nothing could be done in Saudi Arabia, well something is being done in Saudi Arabia.
Former Chelsea, Aston Villa and Republic of Ireland favorite Townsend suggested that with the crossover in combat sports, it was simply a ‘Mickey Mouse’ fight and Fury, since he was a world champion, should be involved in’ proper fights.
Warren replied, ‘Sorry, stop, stop, where did you get Mickey Mouse?’
‘I’m sorry, but we made serious offers to what you would call the right people, so you’re saying that Ngannou is not a suitable athlete?
‘I don’t understand the point you say, isn’t he a warrior? Not a fighter, is the UFC a Mickey Mouse situation?
Townsend responded: ‘No, it certainly isn’t, but if boxing is suddenly going to go this cross-fighting path…
Warren sparred with talkSPORT’s Andy Townsend, who suggested it was a ‘Micky Mouse’ fight.
The WBC champion has been looking for a new opponent ever since he beat Derek Chisora last year.
“The fights that the public really wants, and you know Frank, come on, the fights that the people really want, you don’t have on the table.”
Furthermore, Goldstein raised the question of whether heavyweight boxing was ‘in the gutter’ given that Fury had no opponents to fight.
Once again, an enraged Warren flatly rejected that suggestion when he said: ‘No, I’m not saying that, you say it’s in the sewer.
‘First you have Joe Joyce in a rematch with [Zhilei] Zhang. That’s a cracking fight, how’s that in the gutter?
‘You have Daniel Dubois fighting Usyk in an amazing fight. How’s that in the gutter?
Fury has been offered a large amount of money to participate in a unique opportunity where you have two guys from two different sports going to fight.
And it’s not an exhibition, it’s a fight. It’s going to be a shootout.