Bristol based promoter Jamie Sanigar is disappointed that a fight between IBF world champion Lee Selby and Leeds’ Josh Warrington fell through after over two years in the making.
Both Selby (23-1, 8 KO), of Barry, Wales, and the unbeaten Warrington had done their bit in building towards a huge featherweight showdown that was likely to be held at Warrington’s beloved Elland Road this summer.
However, despite all parties seemingly wanting the fight, including Eddie Hearn – who looks after both, Warrington backed out of negotiations, wishing to focus on his August wedding.
After that frustrating but understandable blow, it then came as a huge shock to the Selby team when Warrington announced that he would be fighting Patrick Hyland on July 30.
“It’s a great shame that the Warrington fight hasn’t happened and it is simply a case of Warrington ducking Selby,” Sanigar exclusively told World Boxing News. “We spent two years building the fight on Sky Sports and Josh and Lee both played their part and we were all set for July 30.
“The date was proposed for Leeds and we were happy to travel, but then Eddie made it clear that the fight wasn’t going to happen as Josh had a wedding coming up. It was then a massive surprise to hear him announce another fight for the same date.
“It’s a shame for everyone involved and I know Eddie wants to make the best fights for Sky Sports and he and the fans were excited about this one. Unfortunately, the fight has gone now and the ship has sailed. We have our plan for Lee and this was the perfect time for the Warrington fight.
“It seems that Warrington’s team are happy to keep picking opponents, making easy paydays and selling out the Leeds Arena for as long as it can all last.”
Despite that fight not materialising, Sanigar thinks it is unlikely to change Selby’s plans going forward too much as they eye the winner of Leo Santa Cruz vs Carl Frampton.
“The plan was always to box in the summer and Warrington was just one option. We are looking at the opportunities out there for the next outing, most likely in the USA, and are just finalising a date. There are a few names in the hat for this next defence, it just takes some time getting everything sorted,” he continued.
“We want the winner of Santa Cruz-Frampton or maybe even the loser if it is a close fight for around the autumn or winter time. The Frampton fight is massive in the UK and on the world scene and we know Santa Cruz is a huge name stateside – they are both big fights for us.
“It is all about building Selby as a global star now and getting his name out there on both sides of the pond, helping him become an established champion.”
Matt Horan is lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123