There is light at the end of the tunnel.
The hot and bright beams that illuminate a boxing ring can now be seen in the distance by starved fight fans.
In terms of Irish fights, there is no specific date to count down to but the talk has transformed from negative to positive in the last few weeks.
The sport will resume behind closed doors and different than before, but return it will – and in terms of Irish boxing, there is plenty to look forward to.
In fact, when things get up and running, we could be facing one of the biggest and best periods for our boxers.
Granted, domestically, outside of Belfast, things have been troublesome and still look bleak. However, there is enough mooted to be happening to ease the torturous limbo existence.
At Irish-boxing.com we needed a further injection of positivity and decided to take a look at what there is to look forward to:
It doesn’t get much bigger than a world title fight – or does it? One of a very few nailed on fights for Irish fight fans to look forward to is a mouthwatering historic clash.
Katie Taylor will compete in a fight the world will be interested in. Ireland’s first undisputed world champion in the four belt era will make up one half of what’s being billed as ‘the biggest women’s fight of all time’.
The Bray fighter will trade leather with seven division titlist Amanda Serrano in Matchroom Headquarters in early August.
Another fighter not adverse to history or breaking records is Carl Frampton and he remains on course to fight is Jamel Herring for the WBO super featherweight world crown. The fight was one of many hit by the current pandemic, but one that was postponed rather than cancelled.
Both camps continue to talk positively about a meeting – and while both fighters will have to overcome summer tune-ups, it looks a dead cert for when crowds return to boxing.
So, in Irish boxing terms, 2020 will still play host to an historic fight. Frampton will be handed the chance to become Ireland’s first three-weight world champion when boxing returns.
It’s not world level, but Tommy McCarthy’s Continental journey is another guaranteed adventure to look forward to.
‘The Mac Attack’ is mandatory for the European title, which means Lawerence Okolie has to either vacate or defend against the Belfast cruiser.
Either way, ‘Big Tommy’ is just one win away from picking up the prestigious blue belt.
The champion, Matchroom darling Okolie, is rumoured to be vacating, but with the current situation may not get the world title shot he was promised anytime soon. As a result, the McCarthy may get to try and register a major scalp whilst trying to win the career changing strap.
Another Mark Dunlop fighter assured of a title fight is James Tennyson.
Arguably Ireland’s pound for pound #1 puncher will fight Gavin Gwynne for the British lightweight title. The fight has been ordered by the BBBofC and will take place upon boxing’s resumption.
Irish-boxing.com believe that the Irish v Welsh fight could happen on one of the four Matchroom Sky broadcast fight cards set for late July or early August.
Possibly one for further down the line, but Tyrone McKenna versus Ohara Davies is another exciting fight that is 100 percent sure to take place – and another that promises to deliver excitement.
The long term verbal sparring partners will pick the grudge up a notch when they meet in the Golden Contract final, not to mention a win for McKenna will lead to a big contract and serious stardom.
The good news just keeps come, as Jason Quigley looks certain to fight Jack Cullen on the aforementioned Fight Camp series. It’s another nailed on TV fight to look forward to and a rare chance for Irish fight fans to watch the Donegal man fight at a reasonable hour.
Cullen, whilst a test, isn’t the kind of opponent to help Quigley take a massive step toward a world title, but he is a fighter know to Sky viewers and well as Irish fight fans and should help the Golden Boy fighter make the most of the platform.
It’s more in the realm of speculation than certainty, but Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan could give Irish fight fans a world title fight to look forward to.
The rumour mill continues to churn out talk of the Cork man and WBO light middleweight champion Patrick Teixeira.
Domestically there is also cards to look forward to. MTK have suggested they will run an all Irish card in Belfast in both July and August. A mouthwatering clash between Declan Geraghty and Joe Fitzpatrick has been agreed for one of those bills.
Neil Power has assured Irish-boxing.com that Ring Kings 2 has been rescheduled and will play out in Waterford in late summer early autumn, which in turn means an Irish title fight between Craig McCarthy and Chris Blaney.
Boxing Ireland have confirmed Celtic Clash 11 will take place in 2020 and it’s been strongly suggested that too will be an all-Irish affair.
Indeed, an intriguing BUI Celtic title fight between Eddie Treacy and Dominic Donegan may top the bill.
Moving away from the more concrete treats that await, it still seems like there are things to look forward to.
Michael Conlan is said to be within touching distance of a world title fight and thus some massive named fights.
The likes of Anthony Cacace and Jono Carroll seem to have real momentum behind them going into the second half of the year. John Joe Nevin has a world ranking and is the best position career wise since he turned over.
Luke Keeler and Dennis Hogan believe they are one good win away from a world title shot.
There are 11 new fighters yet to introduce themselves to the pro fans, a growing number of young prospects and of course the Olympics are not a million miles away.