The show which played out at the Good Counsel GAA and was home to 11 fights and was probably the best of all the Celtic Clash installments, but Gunning revealed Boxing Ireland and TDP Promotions flirted with pulling the plug more than once in what proved a troublesome build-up.
With the JB Promotions ‘The Beginning’ card falling foul the just seven days previously a Celtic Clash cancellation would have been have catastrophic.
While Gunning didn’t go as far as to reveal the factors that threatened the show there was talk that insurance issues and a subsequent knock on in costs put the show in jeopardy.
However, despite knowing they were going to a make a financial loss, the promoters pulled through and ran a very well-matched show that entertained, produced two new champions, and allowed a host of fighters to progress their careers.
Indeed, the show managed to breath some positivity back into talk surrounding the Dublin scene, and proved the raw materials are there to create something sustainable outside of the booming Belfast.
The jewel in the Boxing Ireland crown, Eric Donovan, even took the mic to rally the crowd in Drimnagh following his eighth professional win, but he almost didn’t get the opportunity.
“Let’s be honest, it was a fucking nightmare to just get the doors open to even put on that show,” Gunning explained.
“About three times during the two weeks leading up to the event it was looking like the show was off, but thanks to the efforts of TDP and Boxing Ireland especially Stephen Sharpe the doors opened and, from the feedback we’ve had, it was our best show yet.”
An increased standard of journeyman helped not only to ensure entertainment for the crowd, but also provided some novice talent with the chance to gain experience and indeed confidence – and Gunning notes how that was a pre-planned decision.
“We decided to turn the heat up on the matchmaking for this one and pretty much everyone on the show fought the toughest opponent of his career,” he added before calling for potential Irish title opponents for the leading light in his stable and promising a new fight date will be announced.
“The talisman of the Celtic Clash series Eric Donovan returned with a routine win to shake some rust off after a couple horrendous months on the sidelines. Got to be an Irish title fight for him next. Any takers?”
“After five shows in 14 months I’m looking forward to a nice summer break with my family and we’ll be back with a big announcement and a few new fighters very soon.”
Photo Credit: Kevin Byrne