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Taoiseach Micheál Martin can’t see big-time pro boxing happening in Ireland anytime soon

Big time boxing won’t return to Dublin any time soon claims Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Mr. Martin was a guest on Newstalk’s Off The Ball fielding all sorts of sporting questions and his response to one boxing-related question sent his way wasn’t too encouraging.

When the Taoiseach was asked when big-time fight nights could return to Dublin or Ireland he suggested it wasn’t something he could see happening anytime soon.

Mr. Martin suggested the gardai don’t deem it safe for such an event to take place, particularly in Dublin, and believes that will be the case for the foreseeable future.

“The whole world of professional boxing is in difficulty. I worry about it. I have a great time for amateur boxing I am not as enthusiastic about the professional game anymore, I was, Muhamad Ali is my greatest sporting hero. But I don’t believe we can see [a big boxing show] anytime soon from what we are hearing and the nature of it,” Mr. Martin told Joe Molloy.

“It’s very frustrating for the fighters because they want to be the best at their sport but it’s not a comfortable environment right now in some areas.

“I can’t see it and that’s what the gardai and others are saying, it’s as simple as that. We’ve seen what has happened here already at some events and it’s not good.

“That’s where we are right now, that may change but it’s very problematic at the moment. Very clean interests have to be involved in terms of the staging of these fights, it has to be above board, there can be no issues around it. I think for the athletes as well and in terms of their pathways and for them to get something out of it in the long term that’s important. For the safety of fans and everyone involved it’s not on at the moment.”

Professional boxing in Ireland, outside of Belfast, has been a bad place since the Regency incident in 2016. Boxing Ireland, Tony Davitt, Assassin, and Red Corner have all run shows in Dublin, while there have been shows in Mayo, Cork, and Waterford. However, there remain massive issues surrounding any big shows or cards that would involve MTK fighters.

Insurance costs, lack of sponsorship, a lack of willingness from venues to host fight nights and a general bad feeling toward boxing have all caused issues. However, the fact the Gardai believe the climate is not conducive to a pro fight night and claim there is a threat of violence means big time boxing isn’t even an option at present.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com