Frank Warren loses damages claim against Ricky Burns

Frank Warren and Ricky Burns
Frank Warren was Ricky Burns' promoter until last year

Boxing promoter Frank Warren has had a £1.8m claim for damages against former world champion Ricky Burns rejected by a High Court judge in London.

But Warren has been awarded the £72,000 in unpaid management commission he said the Scotsman owed him and his company, W Promotions Ltd (FWP).

Warren claimed that rival promoter Barry Hearn had "tapped up" Burns.

However, Mr Justice Knowles said: "The evidence at trial showed simply that Mr Burns had had enough of FWP."

The judge also allowed Burns' counter claim for the £102,000 unpaid balance of his purse for a world title fight against Kevin Mitchell more than two years ago.

Since the 31-year-old boxer's claim was against FWP, and that company is now in liquidation, it is "unlikely" Burns will see any of that money, the judge said.

Former world champion Ricky Burns
"The pressure that this case has put on me over the last 18 months has been immense and seriously affected me in and out of the ring."

A statement from Matchroom Boxing said that Burns will be reporting Warren to the British Boxing Board of Control, calling for the promoter's licence to be suspended until such time as the money is paid "in accordance with the board's own rules".

The dispute was sparked when Burns, from Coatbridge, broke off a promotions contract last year and signed up with Hearn.

In his written judgement, the judge added that the Scot "had walked away from FWP believing he was entitled to do so and had then found a new promoter".

Warren had argued that, as a result, he had lost £1.8m in profits that would have been made from three further title defences by Burns.

Mr Justice Knowles said Burns had not been entitled to end the promotional agreement with Warren's company.

However, that did not mean FWP had lost anything, he stressed, since its promotional activities were mainly "unprofitable" anyway.

"The suggestions that FWP or Mr Warren might be entitled to a seven-figure sum... was, in my judgment, always fanciful," he said.

Promoter Frank Warren
"Ricky Burns lost or abandoned 17 out of the 20 issues the judge had to determine and the judge found his explanation and arguments about management commission were 'untenable in the context of this case'."

Burns said: "I'm extremely pleased that I have won this legal case brought against me by Frank Warren, a case that should never have been brought against me in the first place.

"The pressure that this case has put on me over the last 18 months has been immense and seriously affected me in and out of the ring."

In his response, Warren said Burns' career had "completely crashed after joining Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, badly losing two contests and his world title in the process" and was now also earning less.

The promoter said the court had upheld his case against Burns for wrongful termination of his promotional contract and unpaid management fees.

Warren added: "Ricky Burns lost or abandoned 17 out of the 20 issues the judge had to determine and the judge found his explanation and arguments about management commission were 'untenable in the context of this case'."

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