“The game plan was clearly wrong last September [Joshua was outboxed and lost on points to Usyk], but I don’t know if it can change what it does. I was very surprised by his tactics – I thought because of his size and jab, superior reach, he would have posted that on Usyk – but he didn’t.
“I think he’s capable of knocking out Joshua. But I think a lot of people are capable of knocking him out. But if Joshua can win, that would be great for British boxing, and we’d all love that.
Fury, we reason, can still fight Joshua if the Londoner loses. “He can do it, but it depends on how he loses. If he gets knocked out or is completely outclassed again, his earning ability drops drastically, and who knows, maybe he might not want to keep fighting. But it’s still a big fight between Fury and Joshua if Joshua improves dramatically or wins.
Warren also thinks Joyce and Dubois will become world champions, the latter, who is still only 23, has “the age on his side to take over the division in the next five years, but time will tell on Daniel” .
There is no doubt however, according to Warren, that this is a “golden age for British heavyweight boxing, with five of the UK’s top 10”, inspired, the septuagenarian believes, by the brilliant amateur based in Sheffield, managed by Robert McCracken – and the fact that “the greatest American athletes have turned to American football and basketball in the last 20 years”.
“Tyson is the most unique gut I’ve ever worked with”
“The heavyweight division has moved to this side of The Pond,” Warren adds. “We are lucky to have heavyweights. It’s amazing, I never would have thought that in a million years. I grew up with Henry Cooper, Jack Bodell, Brian London, then Joe Bugner who, by the way, was a damn good heavyweight. Very good heavyweight. But it’s a different class now.
For Warren, having promoted Frank Bruno, Naseem Hamed, Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe over the years – to name a handful – Fury has given him the most pleasure. “Tyson Fury probably gave me the most satisfaction, because of where he came from and where he is now: he was totally an outcast when it came to boxing, he reached the depths of despair weighing around 28 stone, everyone had given up on him, and i sat with him and looked him in the eye and i knew he was hungry there and the desire and the need to box because boxing was his Saviour.
“If it hadn’t been for boxing he might have killed himself. He was suicidal and boxing gave him that momentum, gave him that sense of direction and for me it was a privilege to to be part of that journey back for him and it’s an amazing story I’ve been very lucky and fortunate over the years to work with some of the great British boxers and boxers around the world but Tyson is a character very unique, unique and love him or hate him, to me he’s the most unique guy I’ve worked with.
So unique, in fact, that Warren compares Fury to Ali, whom the promoter considered, as a boy, to be something very special. “When I was young, that’s what introduced me to boxing – watching Muhammad Ali. He was incredible. An incredible athlete, an incredible sportsman, everything you’ve never seen in sport before: loud, brash, and above all he could fight, colorful, everything was amazing, and I was lucky enough to meet him when he came to the UK as a child, through my uncle. I’ve met him many times. And Tyson Fury is the closest thing we’ve had to Ali in the heavyweight division.
A comparison. “Well, he is,” Warren said. “And he’s head and shoulders above the rest right now.”