Jay Byrne turned down two all-Irish title clashes in favour of Fowler fight


Jay Byrne [5(1)-2(0)] has revealed that he turned down two Autumn all-Irish clashes to travel to Liverpool and take on another Olympic prospect.

Having been outpointed by two Matchroom prospects on two Sky Shows in recent months, most had hoped the Loughlinstown welter better for the experience, would play a part in an all-Irish clash on one of the two scheduled post Summer shows at the National Stadium in Dublin.

It seems he was given the chance to do just that by both Boxing Ireland Promotions and Red Corner Promotions, but has elected to take on Anthony Fowler at the Echo Arena on another high-profile Sky Sports show instead.

In particular, a bout with Gerard ‘Crank’ Whitehouse [6(1)-0] has been vaunted of late and some verbal sparring between the pair has increased fan appetite for the match-up.

Byrne revealed an offer was put on the table to face the Balbriggan boxer on the ‘Celtic Clash 3’ bill on September 9th, but ‘The Negotiator’ claims talks broke down stating he was unhappy with the offer on the table.

He told Irish-Boxing.com that “the Crank fight was talked about but, let’s get this clear, when you’re coming to a fight against the promoter’s boxer and have been asked to hand up the first €1500 of your ticket money what’s the point?”

“It was for a mickey mouse Celtic title not even the BUI belt,” he added before revealing that the breakdown of negotiations cost a fighter he manages a proposed slot on the card.

“Also, they went back on their word, as they’d promised me Karl Kelly’s debut on the same show but, because I wouldn’t sign the ridiculous offer, they said Karl won’t make his debut now either.”

Kelly will now make his pro bow on the October 7th Red Corner card.

When asked for a response to Byrne’s claims, Leonard Gunning of Boxing Ireland Promotions stated that “there needs to be a reality check here, Jay was made an offer to fight Whitehouse on Celtic Clash 2, one that he accepted, but then he took the Josh Kelly fight instead, that ballsed that up.”

“He was again offered the Whitehouse fight on Celtic Clash 3 and said he wanted the fight but to talk to his new manager Mark Dunlop. I spoke to Mark Dunlop and he was more than happy with the offer made but said to hold off on sending the contract over.”

“A couple of weeks later Jay got on to me about getting Karl Kelly on Celtic Clash 3. I was happy to put him on the show and send a contract over but only once they had signed their contract for the Whitehouse fight. A more than fair exchange.”

“When that was put to him he then backed away from the fight and later accepted a fight against Anthony Fowler. At no point until after he had taken the fight with Fowler did Jay ever mention he was unhappy with the purse for the Whitehouse, so to me it just sounds like a Red Herring to not fight Crank.”

“That’s fine, he’s perfectly entitled to fight who he wants but don’t lie about why you aren’t going to fight him, about the level of contribution you’d have to make to the show or that you were promised a slot for young Kelly. None of which are true.”

“Good luck to him in his fight with Fowler but I know that Irish fans would much rather see him in a fight with Whitehouse, one he’d have a much better chance of winning and I’m sure he’d walk away with more money as well. None of it makes any sense.”

Byrne’s relationship with the Red Corner Promotions outfit seems to be stronger at this point, and he reveals that he also had another potential all-Irish fight on their upcoming bill.

A clash with Cork’s American based welter and current BUI Celtic champion Noely Murphy [11(2)-0] was on the table, but was rebuffed late on as the Dubliner fancied the superior spotlight afforded him by a fight on a Matchroom card.

“We were nearly about to sign a contract with the lads from Red Corner for the Noel Murphy fight for the real Celtic title, but the Fowler fight came along and I prefer the big stage where I’ll yet again make memories and box another Olympian.”

“The negotiations with the lads went well and they have wished me well.”

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography

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