Crumlin boxing club says reports of massive €1m Conor McGregor donation are ‘fake news’

“It’s damaging. We have people coming in now looking to be sponsored by us because they think we’re loaded”

Conor McGregor

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

Reports Conor McGregor has donated €1 million to fund the redevelopment of Crumlin Boxing Club in Dublin were yesterday described by the club as ‘fake news.’

The claim was reported by a number of UK websites on Friday evening — hours ahead of McGregor offering via Twitter to sponsor a proposed Croke Park showdown between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano in a bid to break an impasse over a €500,000 security bill.

Crumlin Boxing Club administrator and coach Philip Sutcliffe said the reports of a €1 million donation had been posted by “someone who is not even really involved in the club”.

Philip Sutcliffe runs Crumlin Boxing Club, where Conor McGregor and Katie Taylor boxed

However, Philip praised former club member McGregor for the numerous occasions that he has sponsored the club in the past and said there are plans in place for the MMA star to participate in a redevelopment of the club but “that’s further down the road”.

“I don’t know where they are getting their €1 million,” he said.

“There are plans in place for a redevelopment, which were orchestrated from four years ago, and that’s still happening.

“But this thing that’s gone viral now about a €1 million donation is just something someone put online without ever making contact with the club.

“They didn’t contact me and I’m the administrator … no-one contacted anyone from the club and the person who put it out is somebody who is not even really involved in the club.

“It shows you that you can throw anything up on the web and once someone mentions Conor McGregor, it goes viral anyway.

“But that story is a fake story!

“Whoever put it up — they’re away with the fairies.

“And it’s damaging. We have people coming in now looking to be sponsored by us because they think we’re loaded.

“We’re a big club but, like any boxing club, it’s very hard to keep any club open.

“Conor will be helping with the redevelopment of the club but not just now, because he has so many projects on.”

McGregor and Katie Taylor know each other from their days in the club

McGregor’s ties to Crumlin Boxing Club stretch back to training sessions he took there as a child – as do Katie Taylor’s – Philip confirmed yesterday.

And on Friday night McGregor appeared, via Twitter, to make sure Taylor’s dream of a homecoming fight in Croke Park will come true.

His intervention came after the original plan was seemingly dashed over a €500,000 bill for security on the night of the fight.

Taylor, Ireland’s most successful boxer, has long wanted to fight in the country’s largest stadium in front of a home crowd while defending her belts.

A rematch of her Madison Square Garden bout against Amanda Serrano had been on the cards after a series of tense negotiations lasting months.

Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano in Madison Square Garden© SPORTSFILE

The Matchroom boxing boss also criticised the rental costs for hiring Croke Park for the rematch of the biggest fight in female boxing history.

But Croke Park director Peter McKenna hit back at Mr Hearn saying rent for the stadium is “not colossally more expensive than Wembley” while the “real issue” during talks with Mr Hearn was about security costs for hosting the fight which the promoter felt the GAA should carry.

Matchroom sources have said the possibility of hosting the fight in the historic stadium is fading, as there is not enough time to organise the event, and the 3Arena is now the most likely option.

In his tweet to Taylor’s manager sent on Friday night, McGregor wrote: “The extra security bill is 500k to have Katie Taylor fight at Croke Park?

“I will sponsor the event to see this happen …

“Give me the current landscape. I’m in. Is this doable still?

“Or is it a double show … the Point first with Croke Park later in the year post the GAA season?

“I’m in either way.”

Eddie Hearn© ??  `??_/O??

Hearn, seeming to welcome a possible intervention by McGregor, responded: “Let’s talk.”

Speaking with the Sunday World, Philip Sutcliffe said that while Katie is two years older than McGregor, both were part of a group who would been in the boxing club around the same time.

“I’m so happy that he’s giving Katie a dig out to get the fight over the line,” Philip said.

“We’ve known Katie since she was a baby, and so has Conor.

“Katie would be, I think, a couple of years older than Conor.

“Katie always came to our club to spar and I gave her first spar with my son.

“My son boxed Katie and the coach Paddy Brady’s son boxed her when girls were not even allowed box.

“So, we’ve a good history with Katie Taylor and the Taylor family in the boxing club.

“Conor gets a lot of bad press but, realistically, he’s one of our own who was very lucky but who had to work very hard for everything he got.

“He gave up a lot of life to become the Conor McGregor we know today.”

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