Rival UK promoters, Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren, have entered into a war of words on drug testing in the sport of boxing.
This current back and forth is by no means the first, but certainly has more sting in its tail given the importance of the subject matter.
It was born from undisputed super-featherweight champion, Alycia Baumgardner, returning adverse results in a pre-fight doping test for her latest title defence. The results were not reported until nearly one month later, with the fight having been and gone.
Speaking to media after his Dennis McCann-Ionut Baluta show at York Hall, Warren said he had many concerns about the situation – particularly the use of Drug Free Sport, a US testing agency.
He also floated a theory that Baumgardner was about to leave Matchroom, but didn’t expand.
“It’s disgraceful. For people outside and inside. And what I’m getting sick of is all the nonsense that’s getting spouted out about who’s doing what.”
“What concerns me about it, is that first of all Drug Free Sport do not have the same standards, and do not test for substances that VADA and UKAD test for … which is not acceptable. And it’s not good that someone takes a sample and puts it on a shelf for nine days before sending it to a laboratory.”
“What I found concerning was apparently she, allegedly, was going to leave Matchroom and go and sign with Jake Paul. So you look into that which way you want.”
Speaking to Boxing Social, Hearn called Warren’s criticism flawed, before branding him a ‘small hall promoter.’
“He’s criticising someone who’s paying for additional testing, and criticising they only test for certain things, but we’re talking about a positive adverse finding, so they must be doing an okay job.
He was completely wrong with everything he said. Alycia Baumgardner has got till April next year on her contract, we’ve also got first/last, we’re also negotiating a new deal.”
“You don’t want to be attacked by small hall promoters, but at the same time, that’s their job. You have to be trying to put yourself up with the big boys. It’s obviously an American situation as well, I believe he’s not licensed to promote in America at all.”
In an interview with IFL TV, Hearn said Warren’s ‘hypocrisy is tremendous,’ something he expanded on to Boxing Social.
“Someone should ask the question is he paying for additional testing for his fights? I believe Joe Joyce’s fight has it because the management asked for it. But you’ve got to protect your fighters.
[Ionut] Baluta last night – was he tested? Absolutely not. And Frank will say ‘yeah he was tested on the night’ but what about the 12 weeks he was preparing? The answer is no because they don’t want to pay for it. That’s $30,000 dollars to test Baluta, and that’s probably more than his purse.”
Baumgardner is expected to go through a formal process to deal with the positive test result, and is currently maintaining innocence.