In August, Frank Warren challenged rival promoter Eddie Hearn to consider staging joint promotional cards to help revive boxing after a coronavirus-enforced break. Now, it seems as though the two will finally meet in person to discuss such a scenario.
Warren and Hearn have butted heads over the years with Matchroom dominating the boxing scene on Sky TV while Warren worked with other promoters on platforms such as BoxNation and BT Sport.
And when veteran matchmaker Warren had a mock-up graphic of various potential Matchroom vs. Queensberry fights made to formally invite Hearn for a discussion, many were wary of his sincerity — the son of Barry Hearn included.
Queensberry vs Matchroom...— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) August 4, 2020
BT vs Sky...
Who wants it?!? pic.twitter.com/VMk7DoJlnn
However, it has since been revealed that the two spoke on the phone recently and will this month sit down to weigh up the pros and cons of pitting their domestic recruits against one another.
Hearn explained to Talksport Breakfast on Thursday: “I don’t really talk much to Frank, it’s an interesting background.
“Frank was really the young gun who emerged on the scene and spanked everyone’s bum — you know, of the old school. Jarvis Astaire, Mickey Duff. And then I did it. I came in and smacked his bottom and all the old fellas.
“So he doesn't really like me, I don’t really think much about him, but I think he probably secretly admires me because he was that young relentless promoter once. Bob Arum’s got the ability to leave ego at the door, Frank’s not so good at that.
“But I’m sure we’ll make fights with Frank. We’ve got a dinner soon that I’m gonna try and take him out to. Treat him to a little slap-up meal at the end of September and talk about the fights.
“But right now, although there’s always rivalry between all promoters, I think everyone is focused on their own business.”
After hearing what Hearn had to say, Warren called in later in the day during Jim White and Simon Jordan's show to respond.
Asked if he recalled getting his "bottom smacked", as Hearn put it, Warren quipped: “I don’t actually, I must’ve had too much to drink that night.
“No, definitely not. The difference in what he means is that when I started out there was a cartel, there was one broadcaster, BBC. They had exclusives on all the venues and it was tough. There was four of them and one of me.
“I was a young kid at the time. I was about 28. So I did what I had to do and they were all gone. I’m still here.
“I’m still with BT, I’m promoting the number one heavyweight Tyson Fury. The next guy in is Daniel Dubois, so my old backside’s not sore, I promise you.”
Regarding Hearn, Warren said: “He’s done well, he’s not a johnny-come-lately. All he’s doing, he’s working with his dad, Barry’s been around for many, many years and he’s doing what he’s gotta do.
“I’ll tell you what he’s very good at is promoting himself, he’s very good at that.
“As regards to parking up egos, listen, I put it out there, ‘Let’s have the meeting.’ And I’m pleased that he’s gone on record today saying that we’re gonna get together.
“I’m really looking forward to it, somebody else is gonna pick up the bill for a change for the meal, so that sounds good to me.”
If both Hearn and Warren's current plans for the medium-term stay on course, they will be working together to set up the huge heavyweight unification showdown between Fury and Matchroom's Anthony Joshua in 2021.
Such a bout could serve as the perfect lead-in to a once-unlikely series of domestic cards pitting "Team Hearn" against "Team Warren".