It was all a bit different on Saturday night in Belfast.
Young Manchester promoter Kieran Farrell ran his first Irish show – ‘A New Era’ – at The Devenish Complex and, rather than the usual slick suit seen on so many Irish promoters, Farrell could be seen bounding around in his regular tracksuit.
The 26 year old former Breen Team fighter is a ball of energy and positivity, with strong emphasis on entertainment.
A new entry to the Irish scene, Farrell’s seven fight show was something a little bit different to what we have come to expect.
For example, with intended opponent Alexandrs Birkenbergs missing his flight, Sean Magee saw his debut shelved at the last minute.
However, with the tickets sold already, Farrell ensured that Magee would still fight, pitting him against Lee Clayton, a Farrell fighter who had made the trip over to attend the show, in an exhibition bout – and even doing the corner for Clayton
Most notably, Farrell provided standing tickets for the show costing just £20 – a massive crowd at the West Belfast venue for a thoroughly enjoyable show.
It had been Farrell’s goal for 2016 to run a show in Ireland after snapping up 11 Irish fighters. With this achieved, the Heywood man was a delighted figure, and told Irish-Boxing.com afterwards that “I’ve over-excelled with my goal, I can’t describe it. It was really good.”
“When I boxed over here in John Breen’s Gym , I lived here for ten months. I saw shows and thought I could do a better job, without trying to sound cocky.”
“There was a thousand people in here tonight at a small hall show. I’ve been told by seven or eight people who come to shows regularly here and they’re saying that they’ve never seen a show like it.”
The headline bout was something of a master v pupil affair, with Farrell’s Jay Carney taking on John Breen’s current leading light Feargal McCrory over eight rounds, with ‘Fearless Feargal’ scoring a fourth round stoppage.
While it was his fighter who took the loss, this did not dampen Farrell’s mood, and he reasoned that “it was a top fifty-fifty fight in the headline. I’m Jay’s manager and I thought in the last four rounds that he was going to take it into a war and that Jay would come out on top – but that’s boxing, these things happen.”
“He’ll live to fight another day, it’s a learning experience, you don’t have to win them all. He’s tasted defeat before, he’ll come back from it.”
Farrell’s glamour signing among his 11 Irishmen is no doubt Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Sean McGlinchey, and the Derry fighter provided the chief support at the weekend.
Facing a much bigger opponent in Josef Obeslo, ‘Mummy’s Bhoy’ scored a hugely entertaining points win, and Farrell is predicting big things for the Glenn McCrory-trained Creggan man.
“McGlinchey brought a big crowd from Derry and he has arrived,” he stated.
“It was a hard fight and, to be fair, you could see a massive size difference. Sean McGlinchey is no light heavyweight, he’s no super middleweight, he has to move down to middleweight and he knows it, he’s been working his way down.”
“He’s broke the ice with the weight, he has to keep on pushing it.”
“I think he’s a star of the future definitely.”
However, Farrell did admit that not everything went to plan, and openly stated that “I lost money.”
This hasn’t deterred him though, and Farrell is committed to return to the Titanic City if he can receive some backing.
“I’ll be honest, for me to come back, I need sponsorship,” he outlined.
“I’m not trying to make millions, I don’t, that’s why I sell £20 tickets. I’m just trying to put a good event on, but it can’t be affecting me financially.”
“It sounds stupid, but a £20 ticket – two, financially, work as one ticket. Everybody else does £40 tickets. When you’ve got 1,000 people in there it’s like you’ve got 500.”
“I did it in the Bowlers [in Manchester], the first time I did an event I lost money on it with a thousand people in there. Seven or eight fights, you’ve got a lot of people to pay, you’ve got a lot of outgoings.”
“I will be coming back, hopefully we get some sponsorship to support us. There were a few people talking to me about maybe sponsoring the event, but it didn’t come round. ”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)
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