Top Rank makes deal with promoter Frank Warren to bring events to ESPN platform

Kevin Iole
Combat columnist
Heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois (8-0, 8 KOs) will fight Kevin Johnson on ESPN on Oct. 6 in a newly announced partnership between Top Rank and Queensberry Promotions. (Getty Images)

Frank Warren has long been one of boxing’s elite promoters and his U.K.-based Queensberry Promotions currently features Daniel Dubois, one of the best heavyweight prospects in the world. American and Canadian fans will get to see a lot more of Dubois and Warren’s other fighters in a licensing agreement between Top Rank and Queensberry that will bring Queensberry fights to the ESPN platforms in the U.S. and Canada.

Top Rank president Todd duBoef has said since his company’s deal with ESPN was announced last year that his goal was to bring as much content to the platform as possible and that he was open to working with all promoters.

In the deal with Warren, the name to watch at the time being is Dubois, a 6-foot-5 21-year-old who is off to an 8-0 start with eight knockouts. Dubois will fight veteran Kevin Johnson on the debut Warren card that will be on ESPN on Oct. 6 in Leicester, England. That show will feature a main event of Jack Catterall (22-0, 12 KOs) against Ohara Davies (18-1, 14 KOs) in a lightweight match.

“We are committed to securing the biggest and best events from around the world,” duBoef said. “Our long-term objective is to showcase global talent and to expose the next generation of boxing stars. Frank Warren is a legend, with a keen eye for building talent and his elite stable has proven to resonate with North American fans.”

Warren sees the partnership as an ability to promote his fighters to a world-wide audience now.

“This was a very attractive opportunity to us due to the level of exposure our stable of fighters will benefit from by being showcased by one of, if not the biggest, broadcasters in sport,” said Warren, a 2008 inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. “Boxers like Terence Crawford and Vasiliy Lomachenko appear on ESPN and our boxers will be sharing a broadcast home with them going forward. This agreement will open doors for them to get their names known coast to coast in North America and eventually become stars there.”

Legendary Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren (R) shares a laugh with ex-heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on Aug. 14 at a news conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Getty Images)