Warren attack on `nonsense'

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The Independent Online
Promoter Frank Warren yesterday pleaded with the sport's authorities to cut out the politics and leave Naseem Hamed free to clean up the featherweight division.

Warren was responding to the International Boxing Federation's demand that Hamed defends against their No 1 contender Hector Lizarraga in his next fight. And the IBF have still to give their blessing to Saturday's defence against Argentina's Juan Cabrera at the Wembley Arena, although it has been sanctioned by the World Boxing Organisation.

Warren is urging that Hamed, the WBO and IBF champion, should be allowed to target lucrative unification bouts against World Boxing Council champion Luisito Espinosa and World Boxing Association holder Wilfredo Vasquez, but Lizarraga is emerging as a problem.

Warren said: "We're getting these problems with the IBF. They want him to fight Lizarraga, the No 1 challenger. He's got eight losses and five draws. Fights like these are not great to sell. We're looking for unifications.

"The fighters and the promoters are all trying to deliver what the public and TV companies want, and what is the best in the division, but unfortunately we're getting bogged down by politics and nonsense.

"The IBF will insist the next fight is Lizarraga, and we will consider our position, make a decision. One thing has got to be sure: Naz is the best featherweight in the IBF division.

"The organisations have got to listen to the fans, listen to what goes on in their sport. There have been a couple of rubbish matches, especially last weekend and everybody accepts it's not good."

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