Not good enough – Gearoid Clancy has Irish title dreams dashed

The mooted Irish lightweight title fight between Paul Hyland Jr and Gearoid Clancy looks to have hit a roadblock as the Boxing Union of Ireland have confirmed to the two respective managers that they will not authorise the bout for the Febuary 4th MHD Promotions show in Belfast.

Irish-Boxing.com has learned both camps had agreed terms and logistics, and that the pair wanted to challenge for an Irish lightweight title that hasn’t been taken out of its case in just under seven years.

Oughterard’s Clancy [7(2)-4(0)] had believed last week that if he was to beat Akrapong Nakthaem, that the fight would be authorised. The Galway man duly won via fifth round stoppage in Sydney, but has since leaned that the win – along with his points victory over Ray Thompson in October – are not considered by the BUI to be of a level worthy of challenging for the vacant Irish belt.

The BUI have instead suggested that Clancy and Hyland [13(4)-0] could fight for the BUI Celtic Warrior belt [contested over eight rounds and giving the winner the #1 spot in the rankings], but both teams are Irish title keen and it seems a deal is subject to the domestic strap being on the line.

By all accounts, the board have set up a new ‘approval committee’ and that committee does not deem Clancy Irish title-worthy. Both teams argue otherwise, and claim the former New South Wales Champion compares favorably to a host of fighters who challenged for green straps over the years.

Hyland’s promoter Mark Dunlop highlights, among others examples, the fact John Waldron fought Paddy McDonagh for the light heavyweight version of the belt in 2012 off the back of four consecutive stoppage defeats.

While the board may have changed their criteria for Irish titles in the past few years, the decision has left Dunlop frustrated.

“It is frustrating for the two kids and all involved,” he told Irish-Boxing.com.

“I have a record of delivering for my fighters, this year alone I got two British title fights for fighters and I promised an Irish title fight for Hylo. I can’t understand the BUI’s decision. If you look at the rankings it’s [Stephen] Ormond then Jamie Kavanagh, now they are chasing European or World titles at this this stage. Next is Hyland Jr below him is Micheal Devine and I have done all I can to make that fight. he doesn’t want it. Below that is Joe Fitzpatrick, but he hasn’t even done a six rounder yet? I don’t want the kid waiting around for another year waiting for the likes of Joe or [Feargal] McCrory to be eligible. Clancy is number six in the rankings, but the only one eligible that is willing to fight.”

“Clancy is New South Wales Champion and has done 10 rounds. Okay he has four loses, but he has never been stopped and they have been close scraps. I am really disappointed. It would have been a great fight for my show, but I am more hurt for both fighters, they both really wanted the chance to be called Irish champion.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie