Eddie Hearn blasts Croke Park chiefs over Katie Taylor fight
Taylor finally getting a fight in Dublin, but not at GAA HQ.
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said Croke Park officials took the “p**s” and quoted a fee that was “three times” the price of Wembley Stadium to host Katie Taylor’s homecoming fight.
Taylor will move up a weight division to fight light welterweight world champion Chantelle Cameron in the 3Arena on May 20.
The Bray boxer made a flying visit to Dublin to officially launch the fight at Dublin’s Mansion house this morning, and will return to the US tomorrow to continue her preparations.
Taylor was due to face Amanda Serrano in a highly anticipated rematch but Serrano dropped out and, uncharacteristically, Taylor called out British fighter Cameron to take on the Dublin bout.
Speaking to the media at this morning’s press conference, Matchroom chairman Eddie Hearn insisted Taylor vs Cameron is a “bigger fight”, however, he admitted there will be “lot of upset people” as the 3Arena’s capacity is only a fraction of Croke Park’s.
Hearn said up to 9,000 tickets will be available for the May contest and details of the pricing structure will be announced before they go on sale next week, but they will range from “very accessible to expensive”.
“We are unfortunately leaving money behind, going to this arena, because it holds 8,000 versus 70,000 at Croke [Park]… I think it’s worked out well. I’d honestly like to say that this is a one-off but I don’t think it’s the last time you’ll see Katie Taylor fight in Ireland,” he said.
Hearn said “for sure” he would work with Croke Park again but he accused GAA headquarters of asking his company for too high a fee when compared to other stadia of similar size.
“When you’re going to negotiate with someone and the cost is three times more than Wembley Stadium, to be honest with you I think it takes the absolute p**s,” he said.
“We’ve done national stadiums, we’ve done 90,000, 80,000. Numbers are numbers and for three times the cost to run a show there, it just left a little bit of a bad taste.”
“But that’s our problem, it’s not Katie’s problem, she wanted to fight in Croke Park, and we’ll work to make that happen but what I’m not prepared to do, is be involved in a fight of that magnitude, with a huge amount of risk and work, for nothing for our family business,” he added.
Independent.ie contacted Croke Park for comment.
Hearn also confirmed that MMA fighter Conor McGregor, who previously intervened to try and secure Croke Park as the venue, will be one of the fight’s main sponsors but he will not be involved in its promotion.
The bout will see Katie Taylor compete on home soil for this first time since her amateur days and she described the prospect as a “pinch me” moment.
“I’m so happy. Big time boxing is coming back to Ireland for the first time in a long time, so this so exciting for me,” she said.
“We’re doing it with one of the best fights in boxing, with two undisputed fighters going head-to-head. It’s going to an amazing night and an amazing celebration. Pro boxing is coming home.”
Taylor beat Cameron in the amateur ranks but both fighters have dominated their respective weight classes since turning professional.
Cameron is several years younger and seen by many as a dangerous opponent for Taylor, but the former Irish Olympian said she wants to “fight the best”.
“I’m definitely going to be prepared for a tough night and I could end up being epic fight… it could end up being another fight of the year contender,” she added.
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