Boxing: Woodhall severs links with Warren

ANOTHER WORLD champion has severed links with Frank Warren. Richie Woodhall, holder of the World Boxing Council super-middleweight title, has departed after less than two years in the promoter's stable.

Woodhall has terminated two agreements he had with Warren, following in the recent footsteps of Prince Naseem Hamed, and has cited irreconcilable differences. A statement released by the fighter's lawyers said: "Richie Woodhall has today given notice to Mr Frank Warren of termination of two agreements, namely a promoter-boxer agreement and a manager-boxer agreement. Richie Woodhall will now be self-managed."

The 30-year-old signed up in May 1997 with Warren, who promised the Telford fighter a second world title chance after his failure to win the WBC middleweight crown from Keith Holmes while with Mickey Duff.

Woodhall, out-of-contract with Duff when he chose to link up with Warren, then went on to beat Thulane "Sugar Boy" Malinga in March last year in front of his home crowd at the Telford Ice Rink to take the super-middleweight title.

Successful defences followed in September with a majority verdict over Glenn Catley and then against the Italian Vincenzo Nardiello in February, whose corner threw in the towel midway through the sixth round.

The biggest pay-day of Woodhall's career is possibly in the pipeline with a potential unification battle against the World Boxing Organisation champion, Joe Calzaghe, later this year.

Woodhall will now be self-managed, although the question is who will promote his next fight, with Hamed's forthcoming defence of his WBO featherweight title against Paul Ingle later this month being staged as a one-off by Barry Hearn.

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