Little more than a snippet really, but the Guardian yesterday reported that Frank Warren has rejected ITV’s latest contract offer for the rights to broadcasting the on-going fortunes of Amir Khan, Joe Calzaghe and the rest of Warren’s Sports Network stable. Following two years of mixed results from the partnership I would assume ITV are driving a tougher bargain this time round, as a more informed customer they will surely be stipulating an improvement in quality is paramount.
Little surprise then that Joe Calzaghe continues to name-check Bernard Hopkins and Jermaine Taylor as he represents the biggest bait Warren can offer to catch the big terrestrial fish again. Warren’s willingness to bid for the fights of his rivals; e.g. Clinton Woods from Fight Academy and Carl Froch from Hennessey, in purse situations suggests an acceptance that his own stable lacks the marquee fighters it once boasted.
Scott Harrison, Johnny Nelson and Ricky Hatton are three world champions lost since Warren signed with ITV to either drink, injury or another promoter. They’ve left a glaring hole in his stable and even the temporary solution of Audley Harrison was derailed spectacularly last time out.
For all the criticism and misfortune I do hope a new deal can be secured. Boxing needs the mainstream exposure.