box clever Eddie Hearn opens the door for Katie Taylor to finally fight in Ireland after Amanda Serrano showdown
KATIE Taylor may finally get a chance to fight in Ireland, according to Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn.
“I just think it would be very disappointing if she never got the chance to go to Ireland and let her have that moment. We will see what happens,” said Hearn who has plotted her journey to the summit of the sport.
Asked whether the demise of MTK increased the chances of a fight in Dublin Hearn said:
“It too early to comment on anything that has happened, but if she beats Serrano maybe we could do the repeat there.”
After she turned professional in 2016 there were tentative plans to have a fight in Dublin in early 2017.
But the idea was scrapped due to safety concerns following the fatal gangland shooting in the Regency Hotel during a professional boxing show weigh-in.
Furthermore, the prohibitive costs of public liability insurance cover for professional boxing shows in the Republic, which increased dramatically in the wake of the shooting, was another factor.
Even though Katie Taylor has repeatedly expressed the hope that she could fight in Dublin, it has never been a runner since.
But depending on the result on Saturday night, it appears the idea of a Katie Taylor fight in Dublin is back on the Matchroom agenda.
Unlike the majority of boxing aficionados, Hearn is bullish about the outcome of Taylor’s showdown against seven-weight World champion Amanda Serrano on Saturday night.
“I think Katie is going to stop her, I know it is not a popular pick. You always go Katie on points, but she has got look in her eye. I saw her in the head-to-head yesterday.
“I have got to know Katie over the years. I know this week she isn’t messing around. She is here to fight. This is her ‘Garden;’ this is her house, and these are the moments you see her at her very best.
“But Serrano looks great too; really strong and you can see the power of her punches. She is going to be very dangerous. It is going to be a thriller,” he predicted.
Even Hearn is surprised at just how big the fight has become.
“Somebody said to me about the great turn out from the fans at the work-out. But this is just the media. The event was not open to the public. It is unbelievable.
“We have sold 14,000 tickets; we are going to sell the whole thing out. It is only Wednesday.
“It is quite unusual in boxing to get such a feeling of good will for an event to do well. Most people have the voodoo dolls out and are sticking pins in me and hoping for rain when we have outdoor events. People here are just saying ‘what a great moment for boxing’
“A lot of organisations and broadcasters feel like they should support women’s sport because it is like a nice look, or a box ticked. It is nice to see an actual event like this stand alone on its own qualities.
“Look, we are not selling out MSG because people are saying ‘let’s go and support women’s sport.’ We are selling it out because it is an unbelievable fight and that’s how you create longevity in women’s boxing.”
Hearn acknowledged the role Youtuber Jake Paul had played in publicising the fight. Coincidently, just as Hearn was being interviewed by the Irish media in Madison Square Garden, Paul was surrounded dozens of reporters and camera men a few yards away.
“It has been brilliant. Somebody asked me earlier ‘do you like Jake Paul?’ I haven’t really thought about it. I am using Jake Paul; he is using me. We are all using each other because we want to make the fight as big as possible.
“It is quite unusual to come to a show and see more cameras around another promoter. We are working together. He's not looking at me thinking: ‘I don’t like Eddie Hearn. I am not going to push this show that hard.’
“It is just common sense – let’s make this as big as it can be. On Saturday night I will shake his hand and say ‘well done you are about to lose in a few minutes,’
“This feels like the biggest fight I have ever been involved in in a different kind. The Empire State Building will be lit up by the Puerto Rican and Irish colours on Saturday night. I would like to take credit for that. But I have no idea who organised it.
“The atmosphere will be amazing. Anyone who has watched Katie or Serrano knows that it cannot be anything but a great fight,” said Hearn.
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