Red Corner Promotions have suggested that they turned down the chance to work with Matchroom and Sky Sports because they wanted to give back to deserving Dublin fight fans.
A promotional outfit that is young in every sense of the word made an eagerly anticipated Irish middleweight title fight between Luke Keeler and Darren Cruise for their third promotional installment set for June 24th at the National Stadium.
The fight has been proposed previously, but fans had to wait for it to be made. Excitement started to brew once the contracts were signed and it seems it traveled across the water as Eddie Hearn said he was interested using the bout on the undercard of his Belfast return on June 10th.
It seemed an ideal fit for the Sky broadcast show topped by a World title fight between Lee Haskins and Belfast’s Ryan Burnett. Indeed, it may have given Red Corner the chance to work with Matchroom, which could have proved beneficial with the promotional giant set to come to Dublin with Katie Taylor later this year.
However, Jonathan Graham of the promotional company told Irish-Boxing.com that while Hearn and co had interest in the fight, Red Corner felt they should take one for the Dubs and the starved fans outside the capital of Irish boxing in Belfast.
Red Corner dug their heels in because they felt it was a clash the Dublin fight fans deserved to have on their doorstep.
“There’s obvious entertainment value in this fight. Between this fight and the undercard, it’s better than most fights you see on Sky Sports. That’s why Eddie Hearn wanted it, he recognised the value in this fight.”
“But we we’re adamant on keeping it here in Dublin. Dublin fans and fans from other parts of the country have been supporting shows for years, even before the Bernard Dunne days so they deserve to have the big fights.”
“Why should they have to travel 90 miles up the road to see a lad from down the road box for an Irish title. We wanted it in the Stadium for those fans. It’s about time people stopped taking Irish boxing fans for granted, they’re the ones who keep shows going and fighters active when TV and sponsors aren’t around.”
Red Corner have two Irish title fights at the top of their bill and as well as the Dublin v Roscommon middleweight melee between Keeler and Cruise they have a Dublin v Westmeath light heavyweight green strap battle between Stevie Collins and Paddy McDonagh.
Having two Irish titles back in play ahead of the new season could open the doors for more fan friendly domestic dust ups and Red Corner claim they are red hot on using the domestic showpiece as a staple of their shows.
“Naturally we want a bit of a renaissance for the Irish title. It gives the winner a ranking in European and something to build on, it’s a natural stepping stone to European level and bigger fights.”
“Also, there’s some really competitive divisions in Ireland now, and some top fights that can be made down the road, these fights like, Luke and Darren are the type of fights that will bring back a bit of prestige to the Irish title.”
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show: