Frank Smith of Matchroom Sports, has responded to allegations that his company is intentionally disrupting fights organized by rival promotion company BOXXER. Speaking with Seconds Out, Smith rejected claims made by BOXXER’s Ben Shalom that Matchroom is causing problems in the world of boxing.
Frank Smith refuted the idea that Matchroom tried to disrupt the Liam Smith vs. Chris Eubank Jr. fight. “We were just trying to deliver the biggest fight out there in Connor Benn against Christian Jr. It’s not about getting in the way of anyone else; it’s about getting the best possible fights for us and our clients. Nothing we do is about messing around with anyone else,” Smith emphasized.
Frank Smith Responds To Ben Shalom
Smith also criticized the portrayal of BOXXER as a victim in the situation. “This narrative of ‘We’re the victims’ is actually quite tiring,” Smith remarked. “They’re going behind our backs essentially and trying to make an offer to Jai Opetaia to do the fight. If you’ve got such a massive opportunity away from the purse bid fight, then why are you sending an offer to Joshua for today to fight Richard Riakporhe? People can paint any picture they want, but they’ve consistently done the wrong things by their fighters.”
Frank Smith was forthright about Matchroom’s willingness to negotiate with other promoters and make the best fights possible.“We’re not here to disrupt things,” Smith stated. “It’s about just trying to deliver good fights. We all want to work with people. They’ve nearly every fighter they’ve signed has come from Matchroom. That’s the business we’re in, so just get on with it, grow up, and good luck. We’re not here to play games; we’re here to do the best for our fighters.”
On the topic of collaboration with BOXXER, Smith made it clear that Matchroom is open to working with other organizations if it makes sense for the fighters. “There’s no issues. It’s just a case of if things make sense, we’ll do it; if they don’t, we won’t. We’re not here to appease BOXXER or Ben Shalom; we’re here to do the best by our fighters,” Smith said.
Smith also addressed the representation of boxer Jai Opetaia, indicating that Matchroom is indeed representing him and has tried to engage with BOXXER for discussions. “Jai Opetaia’s team said please direct any conversations to Matchroom. We then got an email, asked for a phone call, and didn’t hear back anything from the BOXXER side. If you’re that desperate for an offer, you ring and email relentlessly. They pulled out on the day of a purse bid because they didn’t want to be embarrassed again,” Smith stated.
Toward the end of the interview, Frank Smith finished with “Just be honest again, stop telling these lies. It’s much easier if you don’t lie.”