Unique St Patrick’s Day opportunity allows Irish boxers to parade talent Stateside


On March 17th the World goes green.

Anywhere you can find an Irish pub, you are more than likely to find St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Unlike our British neighbours we may not have ever been able to boast about the sun never setting on the empire, but Paddy’s Day is so widely celebrated around the globe that the sun doesn’t set on the parade nor rise on the party.

The Irish national holiday has taken over the world, with thousands of parades shutting down major streets in all of the planet’s biggest cities.

No other country in the world sees their national holiday celebrated so widely and Lá Fhéile Pádraig has become a massive way to promote all things Ireland.

And now, perhaps more than ever, it appears St Patrick’s Day is will give Irish boxers a massive platform from which to promote themselves from too.

The Irish-influenced fight night around St Patrick’s Weekend isn’t something new, but it’s growing at such a rate that it could become as essential as a parade in certain cities around the world.

While there isn’t one this year, Australia is usually fond of an Irish themed card come March 17th, while Matthew Macklin fought in New York on the Irish holiday back in 2012, and Murphys Boxing always do their thing in Boston in and around the festivities.

However, in recent years and, this year in particular, things have gone from the local parish parade to the fireworks in Dublin city centre.

Stateside alone this St Patrick’s weekend there are three big fight nights where the tricolour is featured heavily on the poster.

Two of those three cards at TV cards with Irish bill toppers, one of which includes two Irish fighters in world title fights.

philly poster

Promoters are certainly seeing the power of green to make green around the Irish party and, with more money than ever in the U.S. market through big TV deals, boxers from these shores look set to benefit.

The Irish-American audience is certainly a valuable one and the best way to reach them it appears is via fighting Irish stars.

This Friday night Katie Taylor, Jono Carroll and John Joe Nevin will kick off Paddy’s weekend in Philadelphia.

Taylor can become the first Irish fighter to hold three world titles at the same time if she beats Rose Volante in a lightweight unification bout while, if Carroll beats IBF super featherweight titlist Tevin Farmer, he will join TJ Doheny and the Wicklow woman as a reigning world champ.

The DAZN and Sky Sports broadcast card is a good opportunity for Olympic silver medalist Nevin to get his name back out there while Luke Keeler was also targeted for the bill but elected against a fight with Gabriel Rosado to enable a slightly longer recovery time from a back issue.

On Saturday, Boston goes greener and a host of Irish fighters will be looking to ensure celebrations continue well into the night.

Spike O’Sullivan will looks to move toward a world title shot at light middleweight with a top of the bill bout, while Niall Kennedy also appears as does a Cork v Dublin bout between Noel Murphy and John Joyce.

On St Patrick’s Day itself, Michael Conlan’s Night returns to New York as he tops an MSG Theater ESPN+ backed bill supported by Paddy Barnes and Lee Reeves.

conlan debut 1

It’s further proof of the value of being Irish Stateside and it’s an opportunity other fighters will no doubt benefit from in the future.

While the TV bouts have been set aside for fighters, promoters already see massive star potential in the Boston card, which has a high profile operator in Spike O’Sullivan, will inspire some of the emerging talent.

The fact Murphys see value in an all-Irish clash could have ramifications back home and, with the right protagonists, an Irish title fight on such bills in the future may appeal.

As a result serious value may be added to the Irish strap over the coming year. A clash between an Irish-American and an Irish fighter for the strap might be seen as a seller and may inspire the more long term thinking fighters to win the title and ‘do a Joyce’ by planting the American seed via Irish-Boxing.com.

Regardless it is red hot to be green in terms of American boxing at present and it looks like Irish fighters will gain opportunities as a result – and it appears that a large chunk of those chances to impress across the Atlantic may fall on St Patrick’s weekend.

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com