I’ve written some pieces for Frank Maloney’s website in the past, and hope to again in the not to distant future, so I have a small history with the wily promoter. But I defy anyone to not to appreciate his tone and attitude in conversation with Steve Bunce on Steve’s weekly show on Setanta. The exchanges between Maloney and Brian Peters, the Irish promoter of Bernard Dunne the new WBA Super-Bantamweight champion and direct rival to Maloney’s European Champion, Rendall Munroe, in the run up to Dunne’s punishing victory over Ricardo Cordoba at the weekend certainly developed some sharp edges. Despite that, Maloney proved pragmatic and gracious in his praise for Dunne’s achievement on the popular show.
Conceding that prior to the fight, which he had strongly felt was a step too far for the Irishman, he and Munroe held the higher ground as the worthy custodian of the European belt and negotiated on that footing. Now, with Dunne installed as one of two champions the WBA recognise at the weight – that small fact shouldn’t over looked as we seek to keep a context on the status of the division – Brian Peters, Maloney concedes, now has the theoretical higher ground.
In the first of what will doubtless be a series of spring exchanges, Frank Maloney laid down an offer to bring Dunne to England and offered a purse of £150,000 for the newly crowned champion. It strikes me as a sound publicity manoeuvre to re-establish Munroe as Dunne’s natural rival in the face of several profile opponents making noise about the fight, most notably Wayne McCullough and more satisfactorily – if the title picture is to be consolidated – the WBA’s Super champion at 122lbs, Celestino Caballero who expressed interest this week.
Maloney will know Dunne would never come to England for a fight and so the offer is in truth a statement of intent and the secondary message, that Munroe is more than willing to travel to Ireland is far more likely particularly given the revenue Dunne’s mobilised support could generate – Maloney, to my mind, was merely seeking to set the base level of negotiations in the public domain and to register his desire to place Munroe firmly at the top of the list.
Peters and team will not be hasty in pushing Dunne back out one would assume, even in victory the fight was a draining one for the new champion and while there are a myriad of lucrative, meaningful fights out there I would be astonished if a unification or amalgamation, if that is the correct term for a clash between the WBA’s two champions, was Dunne’s next assignment. It wont be McCullough though, that much has been made clear to me.
For the record, here is a release from Frank Maloney detailing the offer.
DUNNE OFFERED £150,000 TO FACE MUNROE
FRANK MALONEY is willing to pay Bernard Dunne £150,000 (STERLING) if he agrees to defend his WBA super-bantamweight title against Rendall Munroe.
The promoter would expect the Dubliner to defend his newly won title in England as he would be receiving a career best payday, but Maloney the European champion would be willing to travel across the Irish Sea.
Maloney said: “It is a natural fight and the money is there to stage the contest in England in September. There is £150,000 on the table for Bernard.
“I have spoken to Rendall and he would be willing to fight Dunne in his backyard if the title is on the line.
“When we were ringside in Dublin for Dunne’s title win against Ricardo Cordoba, Rendall kept pointing at Dunne and saying, ‘Get me him.’ ”
The Leicester dustman has good reason to fancy his chances against Dunne when their paths eventually cross.
Dunne’s only loss came when his suspect chin was exposed in 86 seconds by Kiko Martinez in August 2007.
Since then southpaw Munroe has defeated the Spaniard twice inside a year making a mockery of Martinez’s supposed punching power.
Maloney added: “I never gave Dunne a chance against Cordoba and everybody in Ireland should be extremely proud of his achievements.
“It was a wonderful night and a great promotion on Saturday, but until Dunne fights Munroe he cannot even call himself the best 8st 10lb fighter in Britain and Ireland let alone the world.
“Dunne-Munroe will happen and wherever it takes place I am confident that Rendall will win inside the distance.”
FRANK MALONEY AND RENDALL MUNROE ARE AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW. PLEASE CALL (+44) 208 467 7647