FeaturesHeadline News

Who and what are ‘It’s A Bout Boxing Ireland’? – meet the newest promoter on the scene

It’s A Bout Boxing Ireland kicked off a journey this week which, they believe, will end with complete dominance on the Irish promotional scene and a worldwide influence on boxing

Tallaght’s Frank Stacey (right), formerly of FS Promotions, linked up with Marcus Anderson (left) of It’s A Bout Boxing to begin the new venture, and it’s one he feels is a right fit.

The English company has links to Amir Khan, a strong connection to Anderson’s home city of Birmingham, and are making inroads in the lucrative Indian and UAE markets. Perhaps crucially however, It’s A Bout Boxing shows are viewable live for Sky customers via channel 212, with an app also in development that will widen this already massive potential reach.

Back here, their first show will take place on Saturday April 1st at the National Stadium, with Christina McMahon set to headline in a major fight, with undercard support coming from Crank Whitehouse, John Joyce, Regan Buckley, Dylan McDonagh, and more who are still to be announced.

The fight night comes near the tail end of a busy period for pro boxing in Ireland, with six shows set to take place across an eleven-week stretch. With such a large amount of card in store, and it being financially impossible for most to attend each and every one, there is bound to be competition between promoters seeking to attract Irish fights fans to their show.

Anderson however sees a bigger picture than this, and he told Irish-Boxing.com at yesterday’s press conference to officially announce the show that “without sounding arrogant, we’re not here to compete, we’re here to dominate, that’s what we’re here to do. We don’t want to compete with other people. We want all the best fighters, all the best shows, the best audiences, and we want world champions.”

Stacey would add that “we wish every promoter in Ireland success, we know it’s a hard game. We know what work goes into this game, but we’re focusing on what we’re doing and where we’re going.”

With ambitious plans from numerous shows this year, in numerous locations around Ireland, it would be fair to assume that fighters from different stables may feature. This isn’t likely to be the case though, and Stacey revealed that “we plan on being self-contained. We will have enough fighters. We’re in the middle of negotiations with some big names, big Irish names. I can’t go in to too much detail but in the next week or two you’ll know. We’re happy with the signings we’ve made so far and there are more to come.”

Anderson would then explain that “because we’re part of the It’s A Bout Boxing brand, we’ll be bringing fighters in. There’s Irish guys who are fighters in Birmingham that we can bring in. There are other fighters that we’ll be showcasing, and it will be good for the Irish audience to be able to see those fighters, as it will be [for other audiences] when we take Irish fighters to Birmingham, to Dubai, to other locations. It’ll be great to see the fighter before he’s a world champion, before he’s right up there.”

“It’s A Bout Boxing, and It’s A Bout Boxing Ireland, we’re not just a promotional company. We’re a media company, we help our boxers, we sponsor them, we help them out with promotion, with management, we help them all the way through, we help their trainer. We’re a one-stop shop, nobody else has got that unless your Eddie Hearn – but Eddie Hearn is doing world title fights, we’re starting from small hall and building up to the world titles.”

“We’ve got our own TV, we’ve got our own promotional capabilities, we’ve nutritionists, we’ve strength and conditioning lads, we’ve sports masseurs, even so far as we print our own canvases”

For Stacey it is a fresh start after a “learning curve” in 2016. The Dubliner, along with Hatton Boxing, ran a hugely entertaining debut show in June, but would see two dates shelved later in the year. Both were set to be headlined by Christina McMahon in world title fights. but the mooted September card would never get off the ground due to McMahon’s arduous battle with the WBC, and a December show was cancelled due to WBA champion Linda Laura Lecca pulling out of the fight.

His new link-up however is one which he is confident about, and he described how “it’s a no-brainer for me, I’ve come on board with Marcus, who has an abundance of experience in this game. I’m delighted to have joined up, they’re boxing people. Like myself, they’re in the gym every day, training lads. We’ve a great team around us. The last six months, from June when we did our first show, were a massive learning experience for myself.”

“It’s A Bout Boxing, in my eyes, has a very bright future, if not, I wouldn’t have gotten involved. We have TV, which is huge for any boxer and any promoter. ”

Tickets for their first effort, which is just over ten weeks away, will be released in the near future, and Stacey assured boxing supporters that “I’ve always said I’m fan-friendly, and we’re going to maintain that,” while Anderson stated firmly that “we wont overcharge people. It’s a working-class sport for working-class people, that’s what you’ve got to remember. Tickets for boxing are expensive, so you’ve got to give people good value for money, you’ve got to entertain the crowd, you’ve got to make it a good night out for them so they come back again.”

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show

Photo Credit: Irish Daily Star – Official Media Partner of It’s A Bout Boxing Ireland

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie