It has proved the ultimate ‘he said,’ ‘she said’ of Irish boxing in recent times. Both fighters accusing each other of turning down the fight or explaining why they didn’t take it at certain stages. To further add spice, and indeed fan desire, promoters got involved and verbal spats played out a plenty.
However, so desperate is Jay Byrne [5(1)-3(1)] to get it on with Gerard Whitehouse that he claims that he is fighting for half the money he initially agreed to trade leather for.
‘The Negotiator’ made a mockery of his ring moniker by offering to cut his purse in half just to get the chance to settle the score with ‘Crank’.
“I’m delighted the fight with Ger has been made. Boxing Ireland [Promotions] have to agree I was the easiest man to negotiate with. I accepted their opening offer straight away,” Byrne told Irish-Boxing.com before revealing his pay cut
“I wanted the fight that much, and then when Gerard’s team weren’t happy with the deal so I dropped 50% just to make the fight happen.”
The fight has been proposed for some time now, but as with most potential domestic rivalries there is a feel it’s been made at just the right time. Whitehouse has built a good record and reputation for himself and win for the Tony Davitt trained fighter will give him serious momentum. While Byrne has built a name fighting top prospects on Sky, but ultimately suffered defeats and, as a result, he will be keen to prove himself at domestic level operator.
There is also the feeling that 31 year old Byrne would love to stick two fingers up to the 0 and prove there is another route to winning titles.
However, when speaking about the Celtic Clash 4 co-headliner, Byrne wasn’t all fire and brimstone and pulled back on the trash talk that went before.
“The delay in the fight being made was down to a number of things but I’ll be honest I don’t think Ger himself was at cause of any of it. I know he’s a game enough lad and will be fancying his chances.”
Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo