Boxing Ireland have set their sights on becoming a major player on the European scene after confirming a new merger today.
The Irish-based promotional outfit has teamed up with one of the biggest independent boxing management groups in the U.K., a move they believe will lead to ‘incredible opportunities’ for an increased stable.
Boxing Ireland have teamed up with Maree Boxing, headed up by Dubliner Kevin Maree, to open doors internationally for their joint stable of fighters, which now extends to over 100 boxers.
In terms of Boxing Ireland and their stable, it means access to a massive stable of mainly British-based fighters across all levels, which could lead to some interesting and entertaining progressive clashes for the fighters currently on their roster.
It also means they benefit from Maree’s links to the big British TV promoters. Maree has provided away corner opposition for the likes Matchroom and Queensbury Promotions and it’s now something Boxing Ireland fighters may have the chance to explore.
Maree, who previously trained Carl Frampton, also has links to Denis Hobson and Fight Zone, again something the BIP-signed fighters can get excited about. Not only could Irish fighters get more air time on the online TV platform but they may even considering broadcast Irish cards.
For Maree, it’s direct access to the Irish scene and a giant foot into the entertaining Celtic Clash series – a move he is certainly excited about.
In fact, it’s a move we should all be excited about as he suggests there are ‘huge plans’ and ‘fantastic shows’ in the works.
Speaking about the merger Kevin Maree said, “everyone knows how passionate I am about boxing in Ireland so this was always a natural progression. In the past year we have built Maree Boxing to a stable of over 80 fantastic boxers, with huge plans for some fantastic shows.”
“The next step was always entering the Irish market. I couldn’t be happier then to team up with Boxing Ireland Promotions.”
“This link up will create incredible opportunities for all our boxers. Our fighters can feature on platforms in the UK and Ireland, and vice versa.”
“Our strength in numbers mean we can really open doors, and provide incredible opportunities for our fighters including the new Fightzone app,” he adds before revealing a long working relationship with Boxing Ireland’s Leonard Gunning.
“I have worked with Leonard Gunning for many years and have really been impressed how he has kicked doors down to keep boxing going in Ireland. We have been planning this for a while and we have some really exciting plans.”
Speaking about the merger, Sligoman Gunning said: “I’ve known Kevin for over a decade, ever since the days since he was involved with training Carl Frampton. He is a guy I really trust, the first fighter I ever signed was Joe Rea and I sent him to train with Kevin in Lancashire ahead of the Prizefighter tournament and Kevin got him in the best condition of his career. His credentials as a trainer are impeccable and since he has switched hats to become a full time manager he has rapidly developed one of the biggest stables in Europe.”
“This is a major move in developing pathways for Irish fighters for the future. Dennis Morrison, Stephen Sharpe and I have worked hard to grow the domestic scene from scratch in Ireland and boxers can now fight regularly and develop their careers without having to move abroad. Irish boxing was in a dark places a few years ago. But we’ve done a lot of heavy lifting and our fighters can now reap the rewards of that work. It has taken us four years of slowly putting all the pieces together and now with Kevin on board we have access to all the top shows in the UK and beyond. Joining forces with Maree Boxing will open up so many more opportunities for our fighters and I’m really excited for the whole team to get to work.”
Boxing Ireland have been the most prolific domestic promoter of shows in Ireland in recent years and have ensured regular cards for fighters to work on and fans to take in.
They have proved a massive advocate for the all-Irish card and have shown they are open to working with other promoters on the island and further afield. They have also cultivated the Celtic Clash series, which has grown in popularity and provided a number of Fight of The Year winning bouts.
On top of part-stakes in shows such as Back in Belfast and Clash of the Titans, the Celtic Clash series reached number 11 in Spain last month and should return to Belfast in the Autumn before bringing boxing back to Dublin before the end of the year.
This merger strengthens and open more avenues for a stable that includes exciting young talent such as Katelynn Phelan, Dominic Donegan, Eddie Treacy, Owen Duffy, Stephen McAfee, Kevin Cronin, Owen O’Neill and more.