Promoter Frank Warren has today gone public with his worry that boxing could “lose a lot of young fighters” if the sport doesn’t resume in the coming months.
Speaking to Chef Gordon Ramsey on the latest episode of Frank Warren’s Heavyweight Podcast, Warren was bullish about the need to get moving again as soon as it was safe to do so.
“We need to get on. As far as boxing is concerned, if we don’t, I think we’re going to lose a lot of young fighters.”
He added: “It’s not like they can even train properly. They can’t get into gyms, they can’t spar.”
Accepting the need for a ‘new normal’, Warren acknowledged that financial gain for promoters will be impossible over the coming months but insisted it is imperative for the fighters and the sport itself that action is resumed.
“We’re working very closely with the boxing board of control to enable us to get something going. There’s going to be no money in it but we’ve got to get it moving.”
Chief amongst people’s concerns when discussing a return to live boxing is the issue of safety and the Queensberry head-honcho has made clear that it will be his number one priority before he promotes any future events.
“To begin with we’ll be putting shows on behind closed doors… We’ve got to work very hard on safety aspects to make sure people are tested regularly”, he said.
“This is a contact sport, a full contact sport… from the trainers to the seconds to the referees, we need to make sure it’s a safe environment for everyone involved. That is paramount.”
Warren batted away any concerns about the logistical hurdles that may involve and confirmed: “We’re ready to go!”
“We’ve got everything in place to do this as soon as we get the green light. When the government says we can commence doing things behind closed doors, we are in a good position.”
Listening on was world famous chef, and boxing fanatic, Gordon Ramsay who saw similarities between the difficulties facing the boxing industry and those facing the restaurant trade.
Reflecting on the effect on his business, he said: “There’ll be substantial losses next year, no two ways about that, but we don’t need a kicking because of the severe losses, we need supporting.”
Chef Ramsay echoed his host’s call to worry more about the prospects of young people than the effect on the bottom line and spoke passionately about the need to find a way out of this situation.
He said: “Having three daughters and two sons, the mental health aspect of being confined to barracks and having this cabin fever. Being locked in for this length of time? We have to be very careful of the long term effects of knocking the confidence out of youngsters today.”
Amidst all the doom-and-gloom, though, he does see some shoots of recovery.
“i’m optimistic. We have to open up and come back stronger.”