Eddie Hearn on his meeting with Conor McGregor over Katie Taylor’s Croke Park dream
Matchroom baulked at Croke Park’s asking price for the Jones’ Road Stadium.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has insisted his meeting with Conor McGregor on Monday in Dublin about a last gasp attempt to unable to secure Croke Park for Katie Taylor’s homecoming fight on May 20 is not a publicity stunt.
Matchroom baulked at Croke Park’s asking price for the Jones’ Road Stadium, but McGregor’s late intervention via twitter has provided a glimmer of hope that Taylor’s dream of a Croke Park home coming fight could yet be realised.
However, it is still virtually certain the May 20 date with newly crowned undisputed featherweight champion Amanda Serrano will go ahead in the 9,000 seat capacity 3Arena. The date cannot be changed because of contractual arrangements DAZN who will stream the live worldwide.
Hearn, who is chairman of Matchroom, has also talked up the possibility of a September fight for Taylor in Croke Park.
This time-line suits the GAA as the All-Ireland championships will be completed by then and there are no concerts planned for the stadium this year.
But unless Taylor loses her rematch with Serrano in May the prospect of a trilogy fight between the pair for September is remote.
Despite Hearn’s claims Matchroom have doubts over whether Taylor/Serrano II would sell enough tickets to make Croke Park a viable proposition in May.
Therefore, they would surely harbour far more reservations for a fight between the Bray World champion and a less high profile opponent than Serrano. It is most unlikely that Croke Park will lower their bill regardless of the timing of the fight.
Furthermore, it is impossible to gauge what the reaction of Irish punters would be to the involvement of a controversial figure like McGregor in the promotion. He offered to foot the half a million euro bill for security for the fight.
But judging by Hearn comments at a press conference in London yesterday the MMA star may have to dig deeper in his pockets.
The Matchroom chairman doubled down on his claim that hiring Croke Park would cost three times as much as staging the fight in Wembley Stadium.
Furthermore, instead of the reported half a million euro gap between what Matchroom are willing to pay and what Croke Park are looking for the figure could be as high as €750,000.
Hearn did acknowledge promotion companies normally foot the security bill but it some cases the stadium pay for the cost of stewarding inside the ground.
He claimed the total cost of staging the fight in Croke Park could be as high as €1.3m-€1.4m.
However, this figure almost certainly includes a provision for the relaying of the Croke Park pitch. But this is likely to be a contingency figure in the event in the improbable event of the pitch being damaged during the event.
“We knew it would be expensive because it has that reputation. But we wanted to be able to do it. Now with all the PR around it, I know it would sell out instantly.
“But I haven’t lost hope yet and who knows what me and Conor (McGregor) might come up with.”
Hearn suggested, perhaps tongue in cheek, that Monday’s meeting with McGregor would take place in the Forge Inn which the MMA star owns.
The pair has been exchanging messages since McGregor offered on Twitter to meet the security bill for the show.
“It’s not a publicity stunt, I think he feels like it would be cool to be part of that,” said Hearn.
"It’s not just a case of Katie deserved it, pay it. Because Katie Taylor deserves to get paid and she has a number that she wants to paid and so does Amanda Serrano.
“If we do it at Croke Park, we lost money. I’m not doing it. I’m not losing money on a fight like that.
“So what I’m talking to Conor about is potentially bridging that gap but more importantly looking at why the costs are so high.
“Can we overcome them for May or can we all work together to do the first fight at the 3Arena, and then a September fight at Croke Park? Whether that’s a Taylor-Serrano 3 or more than likely Chantelle Cameron (the undisputed World super lightweight champion from the UK).
“Our date is May 20 which is immovable because it’s built around the DAZN schedule. So maybe that is at the 3Arena then in September we go to Croke Park.”
no prison | Suspended sentence for man caught with graphic child sex abuse images and videos
Dublin Airport traffic brought to standstill by anti-migrant protesters over weekend
'Frightening' | Linda Nolan ‘shocked and scared’ as cancer spreads to her brain
MIR TO DO | RTE host Miriam O’Callaghan says she works ten times harder than any man
'CRITICAL CONDITION' | Boy dies and man (30s) fighting for life following Tipperary road crash
successor | Robbie Keane’s verdict on Ireland striker Evan Ferguson
Murder probe | Kerry Babies: Solicitor says there is ‘no reason’ for arrests of ‘Baby John’ couple
'FRESH HOPE' | Bobby Ryan’s family hope killer Pat Quirke will stay jailed after Dwyer appeal fails
BAD SEEDS | Gardaí seize 250 cannabis plants worth €200k from Roscommon growhouse
No Joe-ke | Joe Brolly says GAA ban on charities on jerseys has caused ‘genuine rage’