Frank Warren: “If Mandatories Get In The Way, Joshua Should Vacate”

Frank Warren Agrees that Joshua Should vacate the WBO

Frank Warren (left), Anthony Joshua
Frank Warren (left), Anthony Joshua

Frank Warren Agrees that Joshua Should vacate the WBO

There is no denying that one of the biggest boxing matches to currently be made is WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO’s) versus WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO world heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (23-1, 21 KO’s). Unfortunately for supporters of this dust-up, there are quite a few hurdles standing in the way.

At the present moment, Fury has his upcoming trilogy bout with the former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO’s). And across the ocean, AJ has a December 12 fight with IBF mandatory Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev (28-1, 14 Ko’s). If successful, Joshua has a tentative bout with WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KO’s). The Usyk battle is tentative because the Ukrainian must first defeat Dereck “War” Chisora (32-9, 23 KO’s) in a yet-unscheduled bout.


While many, if not all of those fights stand to be entertaining affairs, Fury v Joshua is still likely the biggest of them all. It is a prizefight that would sell well in America but the all-UK battle would be a smash hit across the pond. This is precisely why in a recent interview Fury voiced his opinion that AJ should drop his WBO title. By doing so, once they stage their next bouts, they could face one another directly after.

Unsurprisingly, Fury’s co-promoter, Frank Warren of Queensbury Promotions, has co-signed that same belief. As he told to Behind the Gloves, there is no bigger fight to be signed in boxing, especially in the UK.

“That’s what people want to see! What’s the fight that everybody wants to see, its Tyson Fury versus Anthony Joshua. They don’t want to see anything else, that’s the one that they all care about. It’d just take over, I mean can you imagine? Certainly in this country, you won’t be reading about anything else. All you’ll be doing is reading about that fight and watching it on the news.”

“And again, people don’t buy a ticket or pay pay-per-view to look at a belt. The fight is to see the two guys!”


Yet, Warren is a seasoned veteran of the game. This is why he clearly understands how the politics and business of the sport can hamper a good would-be brawl.

“Well obviously it’d be great to have that label, four belts on the line, two Brits fighting for the four belts. It doesn’t get any better than that. But if it gets in the way that fighters have to have mandatories and that stops the fight from happening then let the two guys fight each other.”

“…this fight should happen. The problem that the organizations have is being sued by guys who are in mandatory positions. That’s the problem they have. So, if it comes to an organization is going to be sued by a guy who’s in a mandatory position, that could stop a big fight from happening, then to me what do you do? You vacate the belt.”

Being that they are literally on the same team, there is no great shock to hear alignment with Fury’s and Warren’s opinions. However, AJ has given zero indication that he wants to, or will, drop any of his titles to facilitate making that bout. So mega-fight or not, it appears that the fight world will not see Joshua v Fury any time soon.

By: Bakari Simpson

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Bakari is a Senior Writer for Visit to view more of his literary work.