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Katie Taylor’s dream fight at Croke Park in the balance after comments from minister

Minister Chambers revealed that he has had ‘initial engagement’ on the ongoing negotiations between Matchroom and the Croke Park authorities.

Katie Taylor is still hoping for a homecoming fight at Croke Park. Image: Sportsfile.© SPORTSFILE

Sean McGoldrickSunday World

Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers has reiterated his support for a Croke Park homecoming fight between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano next year – but has fallen short of pledging government funds to bring the deal over the line.

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn dropped a bombshell in the United States last week when he said ‘help’ was needed from the Irish government and the GAA if Taylor’s dream of a Croke Park fight was to be realised.

Speaking this afternoon at the launch of a multi-million euro expansion plan for the Sport Ireland campus in Abbotstown, Minister Chambers revealed that he has had ‘initial engagement’ on the ongoing negotiations between Matchroom and the Croke Park authorities.

“Obviously we have to await the ongoing negotiations between the promoters and the GAA. But we are willing to co-operate and try and advance this. I think is it something that most of the Irish public would like to see.

“I would love to see Katie Taylor fight in Croke Park against Serrano and I would be supportive of it from a tourism and sports perspective.”

The Minister declined to comment on the state of the negotiations or on reports from industry sources in the UK that Croke Park have sought many multiples of what Wembley Stadium in London and Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium charge when renting out their stadia for boxing shows.

Asked whether he would be willing to host discussions between Matchroom Chairman Eddie Hearn and Croke Park Stadium Director Peter McKenna in an effort to hammer out a deal the Minister said:

“There is engagement between the promoters and the venue, and I am saying publicly now that I am very supportive of this and will co-operate to try and make it happen and we will get feedback on the negotiations in the coming days.

“It is not for me to negotiate the specifics, that is a matter for the promoters and the GAA. But we have had some initial engagement and we are very open to further contact depending on what the outcome is.”

The Minister kicked to touch on whether the government would consider bridging the gap between the figure Croke Park are seeking for rent and what Matchroom are willing to pay in order to ensure this intergenerational sports event happens.

“We will wait for the feedback from both parties involved in the negotiations and access it at that point. But as I have said I am very positive about trying to make this fight happen in Ireland and I think most Irish sporting fans would love to see Katie Taylor fight in Croke Park.”


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