By Frank Warren

AT A TIME when the boxing world is giddy with excitement and anticipation over the prospect of undisputed battles and groundbreaking cross-promotional events, we were taken aback last week to learn the news about Willie Limond fighting for his life in intensive care.

Being the true fighter he is, Willie fought on before ultimately losing his life in the early hours of Monday morning at the age of just 45.

We were all shocked and deeply saddened to receive this devastating bulletin.

Scottish hero Willie featured on our shows across much of his decorated career and I always found him to be a lovely fella who gave everything in the ring.

I now find myself grateful to have had the pleasure of Willie’s company just a matter of weeks ago at my office.

It was a happy occasion because we discussed signing his young son Drew, who is a young fighter of huge promise and potential. It was lovely to see Willie again and plot out a bright future for a talented boy following in his father’s footsteps.

Days later I received a text from Willie saying how happy he is that Drew was likely to team up with Queensberry and how much he was looking forward to the start of his journey as a professional.

Having seen Willie in such happy circumstances only increases my shock and sadness over the untimely passing of such a great man.

My thoughts are with Willie’s children, Jake, Drew and Macy and my condolences go to them, along with the rest of his family and friends.

God bless Willie and rest in peace, my friend.

On Monday evening, for obvious reasons, I was with a potentially great Scot in Willy Hutchinson, who will hopefully emulate the success enjoyed by Willie Limond.

Willy will fight in Riyadh as part of the 5 vs 5 team event against Matchroom. Our light heavyweight pick Willy goes up against Craig Richards and he said to me that he intends to dedicate what we hope will be knockout victory to the memory of Willie Limond.

Monday evening’s event was predictably very well received and I believe we are in for something very special on June 1 at the Kingdom Arena.

I love the concept of creating promotional teams and I really do think it could catch on and provide a new dynamic for the sport.

Queensberry vs Matchroom, with all the history between us, are rightly the pioneers in this but, I am sure, if this proves to be the success we imagine it will be, other promotional outfits will get in on the act and the possibilities are endless.

Who knows? Maybe we could end up teaming up with Matchroom to take on, say, Top Rank and Golden Boy in a UK vs US collision. Perhaps it ends up as a league.

But let’s get this one done first and see where it takes us.

For my part, of course, I believe I have assembled a winning combination in Daniel Dubois, Zhilei Zhang, Hamzah Sheeraz, Nick Ball and Willy Hutchinson. All these fighters I feel have got what it takes to become world champions and this will provide a solid test of their credentials.

I was proud to appoint Hamzah as Team Captain because he represents everything that is good about our sport and is a real gentleman of boxing. Hamzah and Daniel have been with us from day one, with Nick and Willy joining up very early on in their careers, so the line-up is very identifiable as a Queensberry team. It will make it all the more special when we get the win!

Never miss an event - Sign up for our newsletter and receive updates about all upcoming fights
TNT Sports