Ricky Burns leaves Frank Warren, veteran promoter takes another huge hit

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Frank Warren is taking a beating this week, as Ricky Burns is the latest fighter to jump off what looks to be a sinking ship captained by the veteran UK promoter.

In a move that likely won't come as much surprise to those who have followed the story, the "rescheduled" April 20 fight between Ricky Burns and Miguel Vazquez is officially off, as Burns has left promoter Frank Warren to seek his fortune elsewhere.

Burns and Vazquez were set to unify the WBO and IBF lightweight titles on March 16, but that fell apart, with Warren claiming it was due to Vazquez coming down ill. Coincidentally, Nathan Cleverly, who was set for the undercard, was also reportedly sick, so his fight was also moved to April 20. George Groves, also scheduled for the undercard, bolted to sign with Matchroom. And Dereck Chisora, whose name was also part of the bill, still hasn't received a British boxing license.

But what seems to be the real story had already come out. Contracts for Burns-Vazquez were reportedly never finalized, according to Vazquez, and though Warren posted a doctor's note for Vazquez on their Facebook page, many were still skeptical. Burns' manager Alex Morrison says there is YouTube footage of Vazquez sparring during the time he was reportedly ill.

In short, it's been clear what's been happening for a while now, and the last to admit any of it has been the promoter, but that's not unusual in boxing.

There's no word on whether or not the April 20 card will still go ahead, which could be headlined by Cleverly vs Robin Krasniqi, with a Dereck Chisora co-feature. Right now, there's no question that Frank Warren is struggling. He' not putting on cards, he's losing fighters -- there has to be a lot of concern about the future of his promotional company at the moment.

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