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Crisis point? Ring Kings promoter pulls show for all too common ‘ridiculous reasons’

‘Ridiculous obstacles’ and ‘enourmous costs’ are preventing promoters from running shows outside of Belfast claims Neill Power.

The promoter and event manager ran one of the more successful boxing shows in Ireland last year when he brought boxing back to Waterford for the first time in over 70 years.

Indeed, so well received was the professionally run ‘Ring Kings’ fight night it was held up as a standard bearer in terms of almost everything show related bar matchmaking.

The venue, the production, the atmosphere, and the organisation of a massively successful night had people from across the country keen for a show to return to Déise territory.

Power, who runs numerous successful events and works in other sports, did attempt to bring Ring King’s 2 back to a city which can boast Craig McCarthy, Rohan Date, Rhys Moran, Dylan Moran and the likes as active pros, but claims it would prove too costly.

It’s a common theme across the promotional landscape. Issues with regard cost have been raised regularly over the last number of years, but things seem to have reached boiling point over the last few months.

It’s no coincidence that there are no shows scheduled outside of Belfast at this present time. Indeed, Belfast has three pro shows scheduled for the month of October and both the Celtic Clash 9 and ‘He Who Dares’ cards house as many if not more southern talent than locals on the card.

Granted Belfast is currently described as the European capital of boxing, but costs of running shows in Dublin and elsewhere rather than the popularity of the sport in the fight mad city is the reason for two shows in two days and three in two weeks.

Insurance, which is a major talking point in a number of industries of late, seems to be the straw that broke an already heavily burdened camel’s back.

Irish-boxing.com believe promoters have been quoted seven thousand euro with regard to getting the required insurance for a professional show.

Take into account that part of the expense sheet is in the hundreds up North and the reason for the migration becomes more apparent.

Venue hire has also become am issue of late. While venues like the Devenish are rumoured to be free to hire and have obvious profit margin appeals, cost isn’t sole issue with regard to where to have a fight.

Even more worryingly, potential venues across the country have been refusing to host a professional fight night. The same venues that run white collar charity boxing shows and mixed martial arts events won’t host a professional boxing night.

Boxing Ireland have found that the case with regard to Limerick and Power was turned down by WIT, who hosted his trouble free event last February, among other venues.

It could be argued we have hit crisis point. The success of our amateur and pro fighters on the world stage and big sell out shows in Belfast make it look like boxing is in rude health at present, but the domestic scene – again outside of Belfast – has real issues.

Explaining why he had to stop planning his Ring King’s 2 show Power touches on all the points and problems.

Speaking on social media he said:

After several months of attempting to try bring back professional boxing to Waterford City it appears it’s not going to happen anytime soon unfortunately for us and a proposed “Ringkings 2” event.

The fact there is no scheduled shows in the Republic of Ireland at the moment gives some insight into the enormous costs particularly insurance that are prohibiting any events taking place at the moment.

Also what has become very apparent and has been our stumbling block is the reluctance of any local venue willing (indoor or outdoor) to host a “professional” boxing show for what seemingly is a prejudicial and ignorant opinion that it will “only draw trouble” but yet every historic venue around the world is hosting boxing as well as other combat sports.

It’s personally so disappointing to see “white collar” events pop up frequently but licensed, sanctioned and medically cleared “professional” fighters who fight under the auspices of a governing body are not given the opportunity to ply their trade and take part in the sport they love.

We are lucky to have the current crop of pro boxers in Waterford at the moment and it will be unfortunate if they don’t get opportunities to box in front of their local crowd going forward.

I sincerely wish the best to any fighters and promoters in Ireland in what is a very difficult job made all the more difficult by a variety of ridiculous obstacles.


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 sports for a living for over 20 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