Froch vs. Stefani – Hennessy vs. Warren?


23.05.07 -Hennessy Sports head Mick Hennessy wants to know if rival boxing promoter Frank Warren intends for the British and Commonwealth super middleweight champion Carl Froch to share a ring with pop sensation Gwen Stefani. He is also wondering if the Sports Network chief now finally agrees with his opinion that Froch is the future of world boxing. It is a fair question; on Monday Warren made his second purse bid to secure the promotional rights to a mandatory defence by ‘The Cobra’..

This time he was successful – winning the right to promote Froch’s defence of his Commonwealth Crown against Ghana’s Charles Adamu.

His bid stated that the Championship would take place on September 22nd at the MEN Area. This is the same night Gwen Stefani is scheduled to bring her ‘Sweet Escape’ Tour to the venue.

“The Cobra’ – promoted by Hennessy Sports since his professional debut in 2002 – has already beaten Adamu, when challenging for the vacant Commonwealth crown over three years ago.

The Commonwealth Council, however, have requested that the WBC number 1 meet him again by the end of September, despite being aware that he is recovering from surgery to his anterior cruciate ligament and that the British Boxing Board of Control have ordered him to defend his British Title against Robin Reid in a similar timeframe.

“Frank’s actions suggest to me that he has finally realised that Carl Froch is the next big star in world boxing,” began Hennessy.

“But I’m not personally sure how serious his purse bid was, considering Gwen Stefani is booked to be playing the MEN on the same night. Ticketmaster were still selling tickets for her show an hour ago. Perhaps Frank wants her to perform from the ring?

“I personally think he should look after his own stable as opposed to worrying about my fighter. I don’t get involved in his purse bids because I’m not bothered about the fighters he’s got on his books.

“Warren appears to talk about Carl all the time so maybe the penny has finally dropped about how talented he is. But I’ve known it from day one. Carl has the potential to be the next Pay Per View fighter out of Britain after Ricky Hatton.

“With the size of the bid Frank made it’s nice to see that, after all the years of doubting Carl Froch in his column, he appears to be acknowledging Carl’s status as a big name. I’m very surprised at the level of his generosity.

“This would have been a very hard fight for us to sell given that Carl dominated Adamu over three years ago when he was still a novice pro. It would be seen by most as a major step backwards and an easy job second time round for Froch.”

On his charge’s recent surgery Hennessy continued: “Carl is recovering from a knee injury at the moment. We don’t want to pass anything up, he wants to defend all his titles, but he has been put in a position by the Board and Commonwealth Council and may have to choose what route to take. He has just been made WBC number 1 as well.”

There was some bold talk coming from the Sports Network camp after their winning bid, with a press release titled ‘Warren smokes Hennessy’s boots’. Hennessy has given Warren the opportunity to back up the claim for real.

“If he really wants to smoke my boots, he can spar me over six three-minute rounds for charity,” he added. “Let’s have a bit of fun with it. I’m sure it would help generate a bit of interest.

“He talks a decent fight so this would be a good opportunity for him to show us what he can do for real. I’m sure that the boxers we promote would respect us for baring our own souls in the ring like they do.”

Froch himself has been flattered by the attentions of one his biggest detractors, but also a little concerned.

“I hope he’s not becoming obsessed with me,” said the undefeated 29-year-old. “Warren has mentioned me in his column quite a few times and has been very critical in the press in general. He has put in bids now for two of my fights.

“I’m surprised he has given the game away by letting people know how good I am.

“Maybe he needs to get quality on his shows and will do anything to get it. But I don’t know what station he intends to put the Adamu fight on – I understand his current deal with ITV runs out shortly.

“I just hope it won’t be on QVC or Paramount. Or UK Gold; he’s been doing a few repeat fights lately and me against Adamu would be another one.”