'Throw off the shackles' - Frank Warren challenges Eddie Hearn

There are hurdles to overcome - Hearn on Fury v Joshua

Frank Warren has told rival promoter Eddie Hearn to revitalise British boxing by joining forces with him to put on a series of fights.

Warren wants the best fighters in his Queensberry promotions set-up to face the top boxers with Hearn's Matchroom.

Such a deal would have to sort out television rights, as Queensberry has a UK deal with BT Sport, whereas Matchroom has a contract with Sky.

"The time is right to throw off the shackles," Warren wrote in his column.external-link

Warren and Hearn's companies are looking to work together to get Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua to face each other in a historic all-British fight for the title of undisputed world heavyweight champion.

WBC champion Fury is signed to Queensberry, while WBA, IBF and WBO belt holder Joshua is with Matchroom.

Hearn said in June that a two-fight deal with Fury and Joshua had been agreed - although the finer details are still to be worked out, with the fighters having separate television contracts in the USA and the UK.

In the meantime, Warren wants to agree a series of fights between the best boxers from each promotion company.

"Queensberry's finest versus the best of Matchroom," he wrote.

"What I am proposing is to break down the borders and give the fans the fights they want to see."

Since lockdown, Warren has organised a series of fight nights behind closed doors while Hearn has hosted a Fight Camp in the garden of his childhood home, now Matchroom's headquarters.

Warren said promoters and TV deals should not get in the way of putting on fights that fans want.

"Forget about promoter pride and egos, it is not about us," he wrote. "This is the time to turbo-charge boxing right back into the mainstream and capture the imagination of the watching public.

"Who wouldn't want to see Dillian Whyte taking on the best young heavyweight in the world, Daniel Dubois, later this year or early next while Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are busy making other plans?

"Any takers for Joe Joyce against Dereck Chisora? Archie Sharp v Zelfa Barrett? Hamzah Sheeraz v Ted Cheeseman? Charlie Edwards v Kal Yafai?

"What about seeing Nathan Gorman step in the ring with Dave Allen? There are numerous potential bangers there to be made and no good reason not to make them."

Warren added: "You could say I am throwing down the gauntlet and I would hope this honest proposal is taken at face value and not blithely dismissed.

"For the long-term good of our sport, now is the time to put up or shut up."

Hearn is yet to respond to Warren's challenge.