By Jake Donovan
Frank Warren wasn’t thrilled with the lack of control over the enforced purse split for his featherweight titlist to accept. At the very least, he will enjoy full control over the fight.
The veteran promoter from England was the winning bidder during Tuesday’s purse bid hearing for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight title fight between defending champ Josh Warrington and mandatory challenger Kid Galahad.
Both Warren and longtime promotional rival Eddie Hearn put up massive bids during Tuesday’s session at IBF headquarters in New Jersey. Warren secured the rights to the contest, with his bid $1.67 million coming at more than 15% higher than the $1.444 million offered by Hearn.
The one win which Warren sought but could not claim was a change in the recently revised purse split between champion and mandatory challenger. Effective January 1, the new split calls for the defending champion to earn 65% of a winning purse bid, with the remaining 35% to go to the challenger.
Warren had hoped for a modification to the old terms of 75/25 in favor of the champ, but his wish was not granted.
“The purse split remains 65/35 in favor of the champion,” IBF spokesperson Jeanette Salazar confirmed to BoxingScene.com. “(Warrington and Galahad) have 15 days (from the purse bid hearing) to submit contracts and 90 days for the fight (to take place).”
Warrington (28-0, 6KOs) will earn $1,085,500 for what will mark the second defense of his title. Galahad (26-0, 15KOs) will collect $584,500 for his first shot at a major title.
Assuming both sides play nice and the IBF deadline remains in place, the ordered fight will need to take place by early May. Such a time frame will leave the pair of Brits with less than five months between fights, as both are coming off wins in December.
Warrington ended a breakout 2018 campaign with a bang, scoring a 12-round decision over former two-division champ Carl Frampton in their thriller last December in Manchester, England. The bout aired live on BT Sport Pay-Per-View in the United Kingdom and ESPN+ in the United States.
The two platforms figure to be very much in play for his second title defense versus Galahad, as Warren enjoys long-term relationships with both services.
Warrington won the title last May, outpointing Lee Selby over 12 rounds in his hometown of Leeds, England. His title defense versus Frampton came with the condition that the winner would next face Galahad. Warren agreed to such terms on behalf of his boxer, but later argued that such concession came at a time when the IBF still allowed a 75/25 split in favor of the champion.
The IBF didn’t quite see things the same way.
“That rule was changed and approved,” Salazar pointed out to BoxingScene.com. “It was communicated to the promoters on 12/27 (five days after Warrington-Frampton) and it became effective on 1/1/2019 for all fights taking place from that day on.”
Galahad (26-0, 15KOs) became the mandatory challenger following a 12-round win over Toka Khan-Clary in their title eliminator this past October.
The bout marked Galahad’s U.S. debut, with the fight taking place in Boston, Mass. and shown live on DAZN USA and Sky Sports in the United Kingdom, both of with whom Hearn enjoys lucrative deals. They also aired his most recent start, a stay-busy win last December in his hometown of Sheffield, England.
Because his fight with Frampton was granted as a one-time voluntary title fight exemption, Warrington was on the hook to honor his mandatory versus Galahad. The only other option would be to relinquish the title and pursue other avenues, which in turn, would put Galahad first in line for a shot at the vacant title versus the next-highest ranked available contender.
Instead, Warren opened up his checkbook to make sure the reward was well worth the risk for his rising star.