A Katie Taylor Croke Park fight night is not completely dead in the water but a 3Arena card looks to have more chance of making it to shore.
It appears the Dublin Docklands venue is now favourite to host a third installment between the boxing legend and her rival Chantelle Cameron.
It was full steam ahead GAA Headquarters once Taylor avenged her defeat to the Northampton native in November.
Eddie Hearn went as far as to declare he would do all he could to ‘deliver Croke Park’ for one of ‘Ireland’s greatest ever athletes’.
The two-weight undisputed world champion was keen, reveling Jones Road was always the dream.
News of positive talks between Matchroom and the GAA emerged after the new year and added fuel to the hope fire. The suggestion that the Aviva had been booked for June as a contingency plan also raised stadium fight night expectations.
However, concerns grew when Matchroom came to Belfast just over two weeks ago assuring Dublin would host the trilogy but expressing concerns with regard to both stadiums, highlighting the 3Arena as the new backup plan.
Issues concerning the playing surfaces of both venues were proving problematic revealed Matchroom CEO, Frank Smith but talks with the government and the stadiums were ongoing at the time.
Smith did give a two-week deadline, stating an agreement would have to be reached in 10 to 14 days so the fight could be announced in time to sell.
That deadline passes this Saturday, and that, along with the fact Croke Park wasn’t mentioned by any of the parties during media duties in Las Vegas last week, has raised serious concerns.
It’s got to the stage that rumour doing the rounds now says Croke Park is a nonrunner for this summer and some trusted sources are reporting that the rumours are true.
However, Irish-boxing.com understands that while the famous Dublin stadium is no longer the front runner it’s still in the race. It remains the desired destination for all involved and there is a heavily Irish-influenced ‘Croke Park undercard’ drafted.
Speaking to Irish-boxing.com pre Lewis Crocker verus Jose Felix Jnr in Belfast Frank Smith did assure if Croke Park didn’t come off Dublin would still host the fight.
“If we can’t do [Croke Park] for whatever reason the focus will still be to do that fight in May. If we can’t do it in the stadium we will go back to the 3Arena again because they were two of the best nights that I’ve ever experienced. We’ve done shows around the world but the atmosphere in the 3Arena and the fight those two put on, leaving everything in the ring was amazing. We have to commend Chantelle and Katie because without them it wouldn’t be possible. It was a special night.”
If the fight goes to the 3Arena, Boxing Ticket’s NI report May 25 as the most likely date. All suggested Croke Park time frames were earlier in the month.