Arsenalinsider Exclusive: Pt2

Arsene Wenger has helped revolutionise English football. Now Frank Warren has challenged British boxers to learn from the Frenchman’s methods to improve the fight game.

And Warren has singled out Ricky Hatton as one of the chief culprits who damages his body by boozing and bingeing in between bouts.


Hatton has hinted he may return to the ring next summer — despite his second round KO at the hands of Manny Pacquiao back in May – and Amir Khan, promoted by Warren, hasn’t ruled out a match-up with the Hitman.

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But Warren insists Hatton, who piles on the pounds with fast food and pints of Guinness after a fight, wouldn’t be allowed to perform if it was down to the Gunners manager’s strict regime regarding his players’ well-being.


The boxing promoter, a huge Arsenal supporter, says he was astonished by the level of professionalism he witnessed when he had a guided tour of the club’s training HQ.


Warren, 57, said: “Can boxing learn anything from Wenger in terms of preparation, diet, mindset? Absolutely! I have been to London Colney and I’ve seen the facilities and it is like a doctor’s surgery, like a Formula One pit, everything is there…the technology! The players have the best care, the best dieticians.


“One of the problems that is happening with British boxing, and it really pisses me of over the years, is the bingeing and the boozing. Football players used to do it.


“Ricky Hatton is a prime example. You know, he is one of the greats but if he was a footballer he’d be dropped,” added Warren. “Wenger would never allow that to happen but in boxing, certainly in the Press and the media, it means you’re a great bloke because you can have a drink with the boys.


“But for a sportsman you shouldn’t be doing that but more importantly as a role model for other boxers they may copy that and they think they can get away with cheating, because it is cheating, you’re cheating yourself.


“Wenger has stopped that sort of thing happening but at the moment it is a bit of a problem in boxing,” added Warren, a lifelong Arsenal nut who watches every game at the Emirates in his VIP box costing him £75,000 a season.


Not that Warren isn’t frustrated at the lack of success and silverware at the club he started supporting in the early Sixties as a lad growing up just a goal kick from Highbury.


“Talking as a fan I have got to be totally honest I’m worried about the fact that we haven’t won a trophy for four years,” he said.

 Warren has also revealed he has a long-standing desire to put on a boxing show at the 60,000-capacity Emirates – a desire he has held since watching Henry Cooper lose to Muhammad Ali – then Cassius Clay – at Highbury in 1966.
“I spoke to Ken Friar, he’s a mate of mine, and we tried to do something at Highbury but we couldn’t because of the residents. But at the Emirates? Of course I would although it would be a very expensive exercise. I have promoted and managed heavyweight champions and some of the best British fighters but what I really want to do, and one of the boxes I want to tick, is to promote a big fight at my club.”{jcomments on}

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