Boxing back on Irish TV

Not quite in the fashion Irish fight fans wanted, but boxing will be available on Irish television in June.

Irish fans have been hankering for domestic action to be aired domestically for some time now. They got excited when TG4 broadcast two shows and audiences over over 250,000, bigger than some big Sky and Showtime shows.

DDP Sports Paul Keegan recently revealed he would be approaching TV companies with regard to an all Irish card, but positive feedback has yet to come back.

Still there will be boxing on the box in June, as Eir Sports have acquired the rights to broadcast Top Rank’s MGM hosted June 9 and June 11 cards.

The June 9 card is topped by Shakur Stevenson take versus Felix “La Sombra” Caraballo over 10-rounds. It’s the American’s first fight at super featherweight and if all goes well he may vacate his WBO featherweight title, which would open a path for fellow Top Rank fighter Michael Conlan to challenge for the title.

Thursday’s headliner is a 10-round featherweight contest between potenital Conlan foe Jessie Magdaleno and Yenifel Vicente.

Eir, who have broadcast Conlan and Joson Quigley fights of late, released the following statement:

We are delighted to announce the return of LIVE sport to our channels starting next Tuesday, June 9th at midnight with an exciting boxing card from the MGM Center in Las Vegas.

It’s the first of ten Top Rank events with two full cards per week between June and July. The second follows next Thursday, June 11th – also at midnight.

The fights will be closed to both the public and the media, as only essential fight camp members and event staff will be permitted on site. Top Rank has taken over five floors of the MGM to ensure adherence to social distancing and quarantine rules.

The main event on Tuesday will see WBO featherweight world champion Shakur Stevenson take on Puerto Rican contender Felix “La Sombra” Caraballo in a 10-round super featherweight bout.  

2016 Olympic silver medal winner Stevenson is testing the waters at super featherweight following his featherweight title-winning effort over Joet Gonzalez last October. He went 4-0 in 2019 with some commentators touting him as a future pound-for-pound superstar.

This will be Caraballo’s first fight outside of Puerto Rico. After winning his last five contests in succession, he is sure to provide a stern test for Stevenson.

Thursday’s headliner is an exciting 10-round featherweight contest between Jessie Magdaleno (27-1, 18 KOs) and Yenifel Vicente (36-4-2, 28 KOs).

Top-ranked featherweight contender Magdaleno has defeated veterans Rafael Rivera and Rico Ramos since moving up from the junior featherweight ranks. The Las Vegas native will be fighting in his hometown for the first time since he dethroned four-weight kingpin Nonito Donaire in November 2016.

Vicente, the author of numerous highlight-reel knockouts, is 11-1 with 11 knock-outs in his last 12 fights.

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