Boxing: Hamed the self promoter

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The Independent Online
NASEEM HAMED is set to leave his promoter, Frank Warren, and negotiate his own fight deals in a move that could earn him pounds 50m.

The 24-year-old World Boxing Organisation world featherweight champion has come to the end of a 10-fight contract with Warren, and his brother and business manager, Riath, says he is now ready to make his own fight deals.

"Naz is exercising his right to retain his worldwide rights and control his own destiny," explained Riath Hamed.

"We have four years experience in boxing management now and Naz has 17 years' experience of promoters and managers. Whatever decisions we make will not be done on a whim. We will be taking advice from lawyers and commercial experts."

More than 100 million people worldwide saw Hamed score a points victory over Wayne McCullough last weekend and the fighter believes that he is not being rewarded adequately. If he carries through the proposals, Hamed will employ promoters to deliver opponents, venues and ticket promotions, but the fighter himself will control all financial aspects, rather than the present situation where he receives a cut of the overall purse.

Should Hamed make a success of the venture, he could become one of the richest fighters in history and would revolutionise the sport, transferring control from the promoters to the fighters and their managers. However, he could encounter problems trying to attract credible opponents from big fight promoters who control the world's best boxers.

Warren refused to comment on the proposals, but said that he had received a communication from Hamed's brother.

"Riath Hamed has asked me to meet with Naz when he returns from holiday to discuss the future at which time I will decide what I am going to do," he said.

Riath Hamed insists every avenue will be explored. "This is not about greed," he said. "It is about Naz being paid what he is worth in the world market."