Boxing News: Warren In Libel KO Over Hatton, DiBella Inks Shaun George

Frank Warren, the internationally respected boxing promoter has accepted substantial libel damages from the publisher Random House over allegations published in the book “Ricky Hatton: The Hitman, My Story”. The book is the autobiography of Ricky Hatton, the well-known professional boxer and former IBF World Light-Welterweight world champion, who was promoted by Frank Warren between 1997 and 2004. The book was written in association with the Daily Express boxing journalist, Niall Hickman..

Random House has agreed to pay Frank Warren £115,000 in damages together with his legal costs over three wholly false, poorly researched and highly defamatory allegations that were made about him.

Firstly, it alleged that he conned the boxer Vince Phillips into accepting a pitiful fee to fight Ricky Hatton by lying about the sale of the US television rights. In fact, Random House discovered from Vince Phillips himself, as long ago as November 2006, that this allegation was false and that Frank Warren had not lied to him. The publisher apologised to Mr Warren in open court in October last year for making this allegation.

Secondly, the book claimed that Mr Warren had pressurised Ricky Hatton into competing in a fight against the boxer Carlos Vilches despite the fact that he knew that Ricky Hatton was allegedly not fit to fight. In fact, this is completely false. Frank Warren finds this allegation all the more hurtful given the lengths to which he goes to safeguard the health and welfare of the boxers he promotes.

Thirdly, the book falsely alleged that Frank Warren lied to the readers of the News of the World by telling them that Ricky Hatton made £6 million whilst being managed by him. Ricky Hatton states in the book that he earned “nowhere near £6 million”. In fact, Frank Warren paid Ricky Hatton in excess of £6million. The figures and schedules of payment proving this were sent to Random House as long ago as October 2006.

Random House had every opportunity to investigate the truth of the allegations. Over a period of two years since Mr Warren’s initial complaint over the claims in October 2006, the publisher left no stone unturned in trying to prove these allegations. However, with a trial date looming for 1 December 2008, it finally made an offer to settle of £115,000 plus the payment of Mr Warren’s legal costs. Frank Warren said today:

“I am pleased that Random House has finally acknowledged by their offer of substantial damages that these serious and highly damaging allegations are wholly indefensible. It has taken me two years to get justice and an acknowledgment that these baseless allegations were completely false. However, even though the book was pulped in 2007, it has aggressively sought to defend these hurtful and distressing allegations about me and dragged me through many weeks of Court hearings, all to no avail, before backing down in advance of the trial that was due to commence on 1 December of this year.

This legal fight has cost Random House millions in legal fees and damages. I am completely mystified by their behaviour and why they did not accept my offer, before the book was published, to check the accuracy of their allegations.”

Shaun George Signs Promotional Deal with Dibella Entertainment

Light-Heavyweight contender Shaun George is "excited" to announce that he has inked a promotional deal with Dibella Entertainment. George will retain his former promoter, Donna Duva-Brooks, as his adviser. George is ranked #8 by the WBC and #13 by the IBF.

George, 17-2-2 (8 KO) is coming off his biggest win to date, a ninth-round TKO over future Hall of Fame inductee and two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd in May.

"The Byrd fight was an eye-opener for what I'm capable of, but it's not everything I can do," says the Brooklyn native now training out of Northern New Jersey. "I want to prove that I'm the best in the world and to be the best, you have to beat the best. Signing to Dibella will bring me the opportunities to get the bigger fights I need.

"All I should be worrying about is fighting and with this great team, I can focus on working my way towards a world title."

"I'm thrilled to work with someone who I've not only known and respected for a long time," says promoter Lou Dibella, "but someone who has his career on the fast track. He had a terrific victory over Chris Byrd, I think he has established himself as one of the best light-heavyweights in the world. This is his time and I'm glad to be a part of it."

"Working with Dibella Entertainment puts Shaun in the best possible position because this will help him land big network fights," says Donna Duva-Brooks. "He has a tremendous upside and now we're just working on raising his rankings with the sanctioning bodies."

George is aiming at a November return, possibly against Glen Johnson. If that match can't be made, Dibella says that George will fight a stay-busy fight geared towards landing a major bout in the early part of next year.

George has been calling Glen Johnson out for more than a year but it wasn't until recently that the fight became a realistic possibility.

"I want the fans to understand why I'm calling his name. I'm calling him out because no one wants to fight him. I respect the man as a fighter, he deserves to be ranked number one across the board. He has never ducked anyone but the champions and contenders are ducking him. That's why I want this fight. I want to do what Antonio Tarver, Chad Dawson and Roy Jones Jr. couldn't do, and that's knock him out. I'll fight the man toe-to-toe if I have to, it doesn't matter. The outcome will be the same, I will win."

Adds Dibella, "He's in the prime of his career and we anticipate a great ride over the next few years."

Article posted on 03.09.2008

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