Hennessy keen to continue Froch-Calzaghe negotiations

17.04.07 - Given the lack of clarification on the terms of Frank Warren’s offer for British and Commonwealth super middleweight champion Carl Froch to challenge WBO champion Joe Calzaghe, Froch’s promoter Mick Hennessy has tabled a proposal of his own to stage the all-British super fight on a Hennessy Sports event either this July or September.

“After being made aware of Frank Warren’s comments over the last few days, I’m pleased to confirm that negotiations have started with his company Sports Network about a super fight between Carl Froch and Joe Calzaghe,” confirmed Hennessy..

“We were keen to negotiate this fight in the background to its conclusion, but articles published in the News of the World, The Nottingham Evening Post and the Guardian have left me no option but to go on record and address this matter.”

Hennessy explained: “Sports Network’s matchmaker first got in touch with us at the end of last week to ask if we were serious about making the fight. I said: ‘of course: very serious’.

“I explained we were fine with it being staged by Sports Network if the deal was right, but stressed that there couldn’t be any options on Carl Froch’s future fights.

“The matchmaker suggested that this could pose a problem and that Frank Warren would require some kind of options if Carl beat Calzaghe, but told me that he would get back to me. I then received a simple text on Saturday morning with a money offer for July or September, but there was no mention of the situation regarding options

“I requested clarification on their position regarding options in writing to our fax number, but received nothing. The lack of response suggests there is an issue, but this would appear to contradict Frank Warren’s comments in the Guardian yesterday. At this moment, their stance on options is still unclear to me.

“I am happy to continue negotiations for Carl to box on a Sports Network event, but need to know they won’t require an involvement in Carl’s career after the fight if he wins. Given Frank Warren’s apparent confidence in Calzaghe, it would be a contradiction if they did.”

Unbeaten British and Commonwealth champion Froch has been promoted by Hennessy since his professional debut five years ago. He is currently ranked third by the WBO and second by the WBC, having stopped 17 of his 21 victims. He will move up a position in both rankings once Bute is removed for contesting a final eliminator for the IBF championship, leaving him at #1 with the WBC.

Hennessy has long claimed a fight between the Nottingham boxer and Calzaghe is a marquee affair that would create significant nationwide and global interest. In order to make it happen, he has attempted to set the politics aside and made a firm offer of his own.

“This is a massive fight, between two of the best fighters in the world who both happen to be British,” added Hennessy. “Joe Calzaghe is a great champion and a true warrior. I believe it will take a very special fighter to beat him, but I believe Carl Froch to be just that.

“This is a marquee contest that needs to happen and options shouldn’t get in the way. As such, I have attempted to put all the confusion to one side and made an offer to stage the fight in either July or September.

“I feel the offer was very generous. If you take the amounts that the champion and challenger receive from WBO purse bids, (75/25%), my offer values the total fight at twice the amount of Frank Warren’s. It would also result in Joe Calzaghe receiving 6 times the amount of Sports Network’s offer to Carl.”

Unfortunately, the proposal has already been knocked back.

“Within an hour of sending the offer, it was turned down by their matchmaker,” said Hennessy a short while ago. “The text offer to Carl was also re-iterated as a final offer, but did not mention whether they required options or not.

“I have again sought clarification on this. There is little point in us even discussing the offer they have made for Carl to box on a Sports Network show until we know their position for certain.

“Once they have stated in writing, as requested, that they do not require options, we can look at the possibility seriously. They have stated that the offer was their last, but I am confident that through ongoing dialogue we could come to an arrangement that reflects the magnitude of this fight.

“This contest could be one of the biggest in British Boxing history. Calzaghe already holds the record for the highest indoor attendance, but it would be blown away if he met Carl Froch.

“I see Jermain Taylor has turned a big offer down. There now isn’t a bigger viable fight out there for Calzaghe, so I’m hopeful his team will be realistic going forward.

“In light of their rejection, I have also asked what terms would be acceptable to Joe Calzaghe to defend against Carl on one of our shows. I am still very hopeful that this contest can happen, regardless of whose event it is on.”

Article posted on 17.04.2007

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