2023 promises to be a huge year for Irish boxing. The highlight, of course, will be, finally, a homecoming bout for Katie Taylor as the Bray native will fight on home soil for the very first time in her professional career. If that prospect excites you as much as it does us, then you can already start climbing on board with the odds for the fight with Amanda Serrano and checking out the best sports betting sites via betyou.ie The bookies and the punters will be going wild for this one.
Taylor’s bout with Serrano will be a rematch of the pair’s stunning bout at Madison Square Garden in April 2022. That was the first time, of course, that a women’s match had headlined at the iconic venue, and the fact it was a success for Taylor is a huge source of pride for everyone in Ireland. The rematch, at Croke Park, could well be set for early summer.
But there are plenty of other lip-smacking encounters scheduled for 2023 that should get all Irish boxing fans and punters excited. IBO light heavyweight champion, Padraig McCrory, will reportedly drop down to super middleweight to fight Latvia’s Ralfs Vilcans at Belfast’s SSE Arena on Paddy’s Day no less. McCrory’s star has been shining bright ever since his stunning knockout of Leon Bunn in Frankfurt back in October.
Another likely Belfast fight this year – and another cracker – could be Michael Conlon’s potential world title challenge against IBF Featherweight Champion Luis Alberto Lopez. Conlon’s brother Jamie, head of Conlan Boxing, has discussed the possibility of the fight taking place at either the SSE in May or even Falls Park in June. We wait in anticipation for what should be a fascinating fight if it is to take place. “He is a fantastic world champion,” Jamie has said about the Mexican, and indeed his brother will have his hands full in what will be his second title challenge.
There are plenty of other fighters to keep eyes on as 2023 progresses. February will see Jamie Morrissey and Kevin Cronin go head to head in the first all-Irish title fight of 2023. The two face off in a BUI Celtic light heavyweight bout. And heavyweight Thomas Carty is looking for an Irish title fight, possibly on the Taylor/Serrano undercard at Croke Park.
One of the biggest prospects to keep an eye on in 2023 is Naas native Gary Cully. Indeed, this ‘next star of Irish boxing’ has just secured a long-term deal with Matchroom boxing, and celebrated with a jaw-dropping first round knockout of Jaouad Belmehdi in October at the OVO Arena in Wembley. The fighter has a flawless 15-0 record, and could well be the latest in the pantheon of great Irish fighters. Cully may well become a favourite of the punters as those in the know look to back the man who has held the Irish light middleweight title since 202.
But we shouldn’t lose focus that the future of boxing in Ireland is bright lower down the ranks, as there are a number of young amateurs looking to make their names as home bouts continue to grow in number and popularity. It’s been a long road back for Irish boxing, but finally the signs of life in terms of hosting the big events are there once more. 2023 could be an absolute cracker for all things Irish boxing!