Eddie Hearn eyes big all-Irish fights for Katie Taylor homecoming undercard

Katie Taylor [7(4)-0] defends her world title for the first time tonight, and a win could secure a massive night for Irish boxing.

The WBA lightweight champion defends her belt against Jessica McCaskill [5(3)-1(0)] at the York Hall in London, becoming the first ever woman to top a Sky Sports bill.

The undercard tonight features no Irish fighters – although Miles Shinkwin and Martin J Ward are of Irish descent.

Should Taylor, as expected, win tonight she would then look set to finally make her Irish homecoming – and this proposed bill may include some massive domestic fights.

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn wants to bring Taylor to the 3Arena next April, and already has two all-Irish fights in mind.

The English promoter wants to put on two fights between MTK stablemates – a Jono Carroll v Declan Geraghty rematch and a middleweight clash between Irish champion Luke Keeler and Conrad Cummings.

Outlining his plans, Hearn described to the42.ie how “we have to go to Ireland. I mean, we’d be mad not to. Katie wants to. We want to.”

“I think in Ireland we can create an atmosphere that’s going to be incredible. We want to do a unification fight, not just a voluntary defence. It’s not going to be an exhibition, d’you know what I mean? It’s going to be against a champion.

“I think it’ll be huge.”

“I think there’s some great match-ups that can be made as well in Dublin with other Irish fighters: Deco [Geraghty] and Jono [Carroll], [Luke] Keeler against [Conrad] Cummings – all those guys. And obviously we’d bring over some of our own talent as well.”

“I think it could do really, really well.”

Super featherweights Carroll and Geraghty fought in an Irish Fight of the Year back at the 3Arena in November 2014, with Carroll emerging victorious via fourth round disqualification. A rematch had been set for the big ‘Frampton Reborn’ undercard last month but was shelved after Geraghty withdrew with an injured hand.

A Keeler-Cummings bout has been mooted for years now. Both recently linked up with the Mack The Knife Global management outfit, with Cummings also moving to trainer Jamie Moore while Keeler recovers from corrective should surgery.


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