Maria Ni Shiuileabhain believes the male dominated Irish boxing scene can benefit greatly from her woman’s touch.
Ni Shiuileabhain, under the BDR Promotions banner, becomes Ireland’s second female promoter-Jane Wilto being the first- when she promotes a five fight card in Dundalk on October 22.
And the newest member of the Irish promoters union is confident a more feminine approach amongst other things can revolutionise the sport and expose pugilistic action to a wider audience.
The Dundalk native believes boxing in Ireland is on its sick bed, but is planning to nurse it back to health and inspire a revolution similar to the one rugby has experienced over the last number of years.
Ni Shiuileabhain is of the opinion boxing is seen as somewhat elitist and clicky and as a result excludes itself to the masses. However, she is plotting a plan that can help transform a niche fight game to one of the most popular sports in the country.
“We plan to change the attitude of the general public toward boxing. At the minute boxing has a bad reputation and in some quarters is even seen as elitist. We hope to eventually drum a lot more support for the shows, fighters and the people who put in the hard work behind the scenes. We want to get the numbers up. At present I think the amount of people going to good shows with decent cards is very disappointing,” O’Sullivan told www.irish-boxing.com before revealing how such a transformation will come about.
“Well as a woman obviously I will have a different approach and some new ways of thinking. I can bring a different twist and a freshness. I really think we can emulate the change that occurred in rugby. Rugby is booming now thanks to good marketing. It used to be viewed as an elitist sport and a rough one too. As a result it didn’t generate a massive following, but that has all changed. We plan to do the same for boxing promote the fighters and market their efforts and so fort. If you do that I think the average Joe will appreciate the fight game and its participants more. I really think domestic boxing is dying a death and we are just doing what we believe will revive it.”
Ireland’s newest promoter is singing from the love of the game hymn sheet and is adamant money and profit play second fiddle to banking respect and support for the pugilists.
The First Lady of Irish promoting also plans to try and promote women’s boxing and is attempting to make it easier to host women’s Irish title fights.
“I think with Katie Taylor’s success there is a good platform to promote women’s boxing. At present it is nearly impossible to get an Irish title fight for women. You have to have done eight rounds to qualify but there are no fights there for women to bank the eight rounds. We have discussed the issue with the BUI, who have been very helpful, and hopefully we can bring women’s boxing on. I think it would draw a huge amount of people to boxing. Especially women.”
“Again we are hoping to push the sport out there and the boxers exposure. We want to try and make it possible for more amateurs to have the choice to go pro. It isn’t a money thing. We will take it steady and try new things to try and bring a wider audience in.”
Ni Shiuileabhain is certainly bring boxing fans to pastures new with her first show. The Dundalk based promotions is a two day event, which will combine entertainment, music and professional men’s and women’s boxing.
The female fight aficionado is keen to keep the public guessing by drip feeding the official fight festival card.
However, she has confirmed Michael Kelly will top a five fight card in an Irish light welterweight title fight and that Allan Donenlan will also be on the Autumn show.
“There will be five fights on the card. We are doing it a little different we will drip feed details about the card. We should be announcing another fighter next week. The first night will be more of a charity event and the second night will be quality professional boxing.”