If you want to criticize the Ireland’s Last Man Standing line-up, you should aim your ire at some Ireland’s light middle, middleweight, and super middles and not the event’s promoters says Conor Slater of Assassin Promotions.
Slater has made a passionate defence of the eagerly anticipated tournament’s line-up and has gone as far as to label a number of fighters across the weights “bottlers.”
Assassin, along with Red Corner Promotions, are bringing an exciting Prizefighter-style eight-man single-elimination tournament to the National Stadium in Dublin on Saturday March 3rd.
The concept and the fight night has been widely welcomed and the news that terrestrial tv in the form TG4 has been tempted back to the sport has brought some fight fan joy. With a prize pool of €59,000 – with the winner getting a guaranteed €25,000 for themselves and €5,000 for their amateur club – and mandatory status for the Irish middleweight on offer, those around the weight seemed excited too.
However, Slater has noticed some online criticism of a card that includes a mouthwatering Irish light middleweight title fight between Craig O’Brien and Jay Byrne. While the negativity isn’t widespread, some it seems have questioned the eight-man line-up.
Currently, seven are confirmed for the bill – Gerard Healy, Chris Blaney, Bernard Roe, Alfredo Meli, Sean McGlinchey, Roy Sheahan, and Nick Quigley – with one more to be announced.
The make-up of the competition appears more than acceptable, but after a number withdrawals there has been some questions regarding the final eight online – and Slater isn’t having them.
Speaking to Irish-Boxing.com he answered all queries emphatically – and turned the blame on what he believes are scared fighters.
Thomas Finnegan, Padraig McCrory and Henry Coyle, who were all named in the initial eight only to pull out, have bottled it according to Slater.
“Finnegan, Coyle and McCrory all pulled out after seeing the line up. None through injury. Finnegan was on campaigning for a fight on the Frampton card which won’t happen. McCrory is still fighting in Devenish which we agreed to as well as him fighting on March 3rd. Coyle has asked to be on the Michael Conlan card which he was told no, as he was back in November when he asked. They all bottled it,” a passionate Slater said.
Since the above three withdrew, Healy and Quigley have been confirmed as replacements leaving one place still to fill.
Slater also took time to address that issue and even had some harsh words for one of his outfit’s own fighters Darren Cruise.
“As for replacements. Tony Senior applied and then turned the chance down, asked for a load of demands, we agreed and then he still said no,” Slater continued.
“Darren Cruise made a huge press statement wanting in. Five days after we offered him a place and he said he didn’t have enough time for sparring, even though he was told he’d be on the undercard.”
“So, don’t look at the promoters, look at the boxers.”
There was some confusion as to whether the latest addition to the card would prove eligible to be awarded the mandatory status for the Irish title. However, that has been cleared up as Irish-Boxing.com confirmed the Liverpool fighter is eligible via the granny rule.
Unsurprisingly the angered Slater has defended Quigley’s inclusion.
“As for Englishman with Irish grandparents. Without them, we wouldn’t have had the best nights in Ireland’s sporting history.”