Bob Arum open to making Monaghan v Smith clash

Top Rank chief Bob Arum is hugely interested in putting on a Long Island Irish-American battle between Seanie Monaghan and Joe Smith Jr in 2017.

The legendary promoter is in charge of the career of Navan New Yorker Monaghan, while Smith [23(19)-1(1)] has jumped into the boxing consciousness this year following his two surprise wins against Andrzej Fonfara and Bernard Hopkins.

Both fighters possess fan-friendly, big-punching, throwback styles, and a match-up seems to make perfect sense.

The pair also share history, with an inexperienced Monaghan [28(17)-0] losing to Smith by split-decision in the final of the 2008 New York Golden Gloves, and Irish Seanie has already spoken of his desire for a rematch in the pros – and it seems that Arum would like to fulfill that wish.

When asked about the possibility of the fight, Arum told “absolutely, absolutely, no question about it. Seanie has a great following and Joe Smith has a great union following and the fight did very well on HBO with Hopkins so a relatively large number of people know him. Of course, that fight would do tremendous business,”

Arum shares a good working relationship with Smith’s promoter, Joe Deguardia of Star Boxing, and anticipates that he will be making contact and talking numbers soon.

“I’ve been working on other things but Joe’s a real good friend, I have great respect for him and I think we’ll probably be talking about it,” said Arum.

With two well-supported Irish-American fighters, it would seem logical for such a fight to take place on the undercard of Mick Conlan’s professional debut, which is scheduled to take place on St Patrick’s Day in the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Another possibility is that the fight headlines a separate card, potentially more local for both fighters, at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: