TG4 may just have pulled off a promotional master stroke when selecting their pundits for their return to professional boxing this weekend.
The terrestrial tv station, who have been the home of National Elites finals night in recent years, airs a pro boxing card for the first time since March of 2019 on Saturday.
The Irish language channel broadcasts Eric Donovan’s vacant EU title fight with Khalil El Hadri from the Europa Hotel in Belfast, as well as an undercard that includes Tommy McCarthy, Owen O’Neill, Conor Quinn, and the Clash of Cavan between Dominic Donegan and Owen Duffy.
Fresh from time spent in camp with Joseph Parker alongside Tyson Fury, Top Rank starlet, Paddy Donovan confirmed that he would provide punditry on the night and Irish-boxing.com can reveal his former amateur rival Kieran Molloy will join him.
It will be the first time the westerners have been side by side on TV together since their massively anticipated and keenly contested National Elite final of 2019, which quite fittingly was broadcast on TG4.
It will make for very interesting viewing and will prompt fans to speculate about a possible rematch in the pros. Indeed, no doubt some will suggest it would be a huge fight that TG4 would benefit from airing – and it’s quite possible that’s what the powers that be at the station are hoping for.
Since Molloy joined Donovan on Top Ranks books late last year a possible Limerick vs Galway battle has been discussed. The fighters are at different weights at present and at different stages of their career – Molloy just starting out and Donovan ready for a big next-level move – but it’s one Molloy’s manager Jamie Conlan says Top Rank have mentioned for down the line.
It’s also a subject Irish-boxing.com recently raised with both. Both are repeat keen, but both have different time frames in mind.
EU bronze medallist Molloy suggests it’s not one for now or anytime soon, suggesting it could prove a great world-level all-Irish clash in the future.
“That’s a possible fight down the line,” Molloy told Irish-boxing.com.
“I’m going to take it fight by fight. I know where I’m going to be, I’m going to be at the top and if is there with me or in my way at any stage we’ll have to make that fight happen.
“That could definitely be a big fight in the future but we’ll have to take it fight by fight, hopefully, we both get to world championship level. It will be a great world title fight. If he is at the same level as me when I reach world level then it’s a great fight.”
The Andy Lee trained Real Deal, whose talented brother Edward may just make his Irish debut on the bill, would have it ASAP if that was possible.
“I’ve heard something about what he said, he said he hopes I make it to the top so we can fight, I’m open to that, or we can make it happen sooner?
Tá an lá mór tagtha ar @TG4TV— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) September 19, 2022
Eric Donovan this weekend in the fight of his life.
📅 Dé Sathairn / Saturday
🇮🇪 Eric Donovan v Khalil El Hadri 🇫🇷
🏆 Craobh na hEorpa / European Title@ericdonovanbox @MARKHDUNLOP @Irishboxingcom pic.twitter.com/js3zuCEJoP
“I’m sure it won’t be too difficult to make since we are both signed to Top Rank,” Donovan told Irish-boxing.com.
“Regardless of when the fight takes place, Donovan believes there is only one result.
“I think I would take him to deep waters and stop him in his tracks. I believe I will beat everyone I fight. I plan to be one of the best in Irish history. I’m a different animal now and I’m getting better.”
Donovan and Molloy are not the only two providing punditry on the night, TG4 have staged another coup and will have the well-versed recent world title challenger, Michael Conlan in the studio too.
National Elite Championship finalist Antoine “Toto” Ó Gríofa will provide co-coms.