Hughie Fury's boss labels Duco 'amateurs' and David Higgins swings back
Rival promoters David Higgins and Frank Warren have entered another war of words as they try to resurrect the WBO mandatory fight between Joseph Parker and Hughie Fury.
Fury's promoter Frank Warren has labelled Duco Events "a bunch of amateurs" and a "nightmare" from their initial dealings.
His damning judgment comes as Duco work their way through a split between co-owners Higgins and Dean Lonergan but need to keep the Parker train rolling.
Higgins fired back, saying Warren was "embarrassed" and left with "egg on his face" after Duco Events beat the veteran Brit in the original purse bid.
The bad blood has quickly resurfaced between the two camps after a prolonged but fruitless attempt to get Fury to fight Parker in Auckland last weekend after Duco won the $4.1m purse bid back in February.
In the end Fury pulled out with a back injury and Romanian Razvan Cojanu stepped in as a last minute replacement. Parker laboured to a unanimous points decision and now Fury is back in his headlights with a mandatory challenge ordered within 120 days.
The fight outside the ring is quickly taking heavyweight proportions.
"They are a nightmare, they are a nightmare. They are a bunch of amateurs," Warren told fight game specialist channel iFLTV on Tuesday.
"Duco, they are a total ... all this information they keep putting out to everybody that we are difficult to work with ... they won a purse bid. They came over here, they tried to get us to put the fight on over here ... obviously the bid a lot of money for it and it wasn't going to financially work out for them.
"They are gutted, they don't want to fight Hughie Fury, they have moved heaven and earth not to fight Hughie. But they have got to fight him."
Duco have spoken about trying to sidestep Fury and set up a more lucrative clash with fellow Brit Tony Bellew. They believe that will boost Parker's profile in the UK and make him more marketable for a subsequent clash with Fury.
Warren has no interest in that. He is adamant the mandatory must be fought and wants it sorted out this week.
"Hughie Fury is the mandatory. There will be no other fights in between. They will fight Hughie Fury. That is the bottom line of it," Warren said.
"What I want is to get this fight on asap, so does Peter Fury (Hughies' father and trainer).
"We want to get it on and get that title. Hughie can get that title. We want to get this out of the way this week and get on with it."
That timeline will test Duco as they work through their internal issues. But Higgins was quick to fire up when approached for a response to Warren.
Higgins said initial discussions when the fight was ordered showed the Furys had no interest in coming to New Zealand. When Duco discussed going to the UK, Warren proved difficult.
"Warren wouldn't even confirm that Parker-Fury would be the main event, what month it would be in. He was shifty as hell and wouldn't agree to terms," Higgins said.
"So we went to purse bid and won it and he looked like an amateur. He loses the purse bid to a company from New Zealand ... he got embarrassed, egg on the face. It appears they made up a questionable injury and now we are back to square one."
Higgins said the Auckland promotion would have worked had Fury fronted.
Higgins still sees appeal in the mandatory. Ironically, all the bad blood makes a Parker-Fury clash increasingly easy to promote. In the fight game, there's nothing like a war of words outside the ring to fire up what may happen when the opening bell rings.
"We don't think Hughie is a bad fight. He's beatable and we are not at all worried about him. We will go to England if the terms are right. So it's back to square one," Higgins said.
Like Warren, Higgins understood there were 30 days to sort out the fight or another purse bid would be ordered.
"If Warren agrees to the terms that we think are right and fair, it's on. But if he pisses around again, damn right there will be a purse bid and we will probably win it again and we will be forcing him down here or Samoa or wherever we want ... I could run a Duco show in Manchester."