22.12.04 – Promoter Frank Warren has responded to comments made yesterday by Murad Muhammad claiming that he has offered IBF World Light-Welterweight Champion Kostya Tszyu a four-fight deal including a showdown with Ricky Hatton in Sydney. “Our position on this matter is very clear,” started Warren..
“I have negotiated solely with Kostya Tszyu’s promoter Vlad Wharton regarding a fight with Ricky Hatton. I cannot deal through anybody else to make this fight happen. The American TV network Showtime hold the television broadcast rights over Tszyu fights and Jay Larkin has confirmed to me that Wharton is his promoter not Muhammad who has no promotional rights over Tszyu whatsoever,
“Wharton has also confirmed to myself and Larkin that terms for a Tszyu-Hatton fight have been agreed. I cannot do anymore than deal with the person who has the legal promotional rights over Tszyu,
“In addition a letter from Tszyu’s manager Matt Watt was faxed to me by Wharton confirming that he wants the fight with Hatton and that is their position,
Muhammad also claimed that the Tsyzu-Hatton fight would take place in Sydney that Warren has also dismissed.
He continued, “Australia is not an option for this fight. In Showtime’s broadcast agreement with Tszyu, they have the final say about where his fights take place and logistically the fight cannot happen there which is why they wanted Manchester.”
“Regardless of what has been said by Muhammad, Hatton is the mandatory challenger to Tszyu IBF World title and the fight has to happen otherwise Tszyu will be stripped,
“I respect Tszyu for all that he has achieved in his career, he’s a great fighter and a showdown with Hatton will be go down a storm,
Whilst Muhammad has tried to get involved in Tszyu’s promotional arrangement, Manny Pacquiao – a fighter he does promote – is in dispute with him over a new contract. Pacquiao believes that Muhammad has tried to get him to sign a contract with two fights on it instead of the previous one fight, one contract deal. Pacquiao said: “Maybe he thought I wouldn’t study, and just sign the contract”
Warren finished by saying, “Instead of promising Tszyu what he could offer him maybe Muhammad should concentrate on delivering for a fighter that he actually promotes.”