Following yesterday’s opening press conference for Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury, promoter Frank Warren took a few minutes to discuss the potential for a showdown with Anthony Joshua in the spring and provides an update on Billy Joe Saunders’ failed VADA test. Check out some excerpts below...
Warren on if he has any concerns about Fury’s ability to win a decision in the U.S.:
“Well the difference is it’s not in Vegas. And we have agreed what the judges will be — the make up of them. So I’m not worried about that. That was part of our negotiations. What happens when you go to Vegas, unfortunately, is the Vegas commission [NSAC] pick the judges, the officials.
“Now there have been some bad decisions, there’s been some great decisions in Vegas — I don’t be slagging Vegas off — but it’s just happened, certainly in the first Canelo fight. It was just an awful, awful decision. It’s bad for boxing because it took away what was a great fight and a great advert for our sport.”
On if Fury beats Wilder, does he thinks Fury could be in line to fight Anthony Joshua in April:
“They’ve got that date booked at Wembley for Dillian Whyte. ‘Cause like I said to you at the time, they were gonna fight Povetkin all along. They’re gonna fight Dillian Whyte. That’s where they’re at.
“I don’t think [we’ll see either Wilder of Fury against Joshua in April]. I don’t think so at all. I think they’ve got in their head they’re fighting Dillian Whyte and that’s all they’re gonna go with. That’s it.”
On Billy Joe Saunders failing a drug test and where things currently stand with that:
“He was tested by VADA, which is a volunteer organization that doesn’t have any disciplinary measures, they just pass along the information to the relevant commission where the fight is taking place and the governing body, which they’ve done with the Boxing Board of Control, WBO, and Massachusetts.
“The Boxing Board of Control’s criteria is quite simple: the substance that was found in his system, which came from a nasal spray, is not ‘in competition’ right up until the day before a fight...UKAD is the same, and WADA — World governing body, does Olympic games and so forth — they’ve got the same criteria. VADA, their tolerance level is zero. They’re saying you can’t take it any time.
“He took it sometime in August, which was quite a while ago before the fight, and it’s there and at the moment we’re determining — they’re having a hearing, or they’re proposing to have a hearing in what will determine where we’re gonna go with that. But Bill is not a juicer. He does a lot of stupid things, as well all know, he’s done some silly things. The one thing he has not done, or hasn’t been doing, is juicing.”
On what chance he gives Saunders-Andrade going ahead as scheduled:
“I don’t see — he’s not suspended by the Boxing Board of Control. He’s not suspended by UKAD. Therefore he’s not suspended by WADA. Board of Control don’t recognize VADA. He’s a licensed boxer. So how do you strip a licensed boxer? You can’t do that.
“All I’m doing — I’m gonna say it how it is, unless behind the scenes people are saying different things. The promoter of the event, Matchroom, they have said they want the fight to take place. They don’t care, as far as they’re concerned he’s clean. As far as the Board etc., I just mentioned, they want it to go on. Bill wants it go on. I want it to go on. I understand Andrade’s people want to go on. So why don’t it go on? Everybody’s consented to it.
“You know, we’re talking about a nasal spray here, we’re not talking about somebody taking steroids and screwing around. That’s what it is...I don’t see, with the greatest respect to everybody, how it cannot go on. It must go on. It’s wrong and we certainly would not roll over if there was a problem like that. There’s no way we’re gonna roll over.”