The Assassin Promotions boss contacted Irish-Boxing.com to refute rumours that the Ireland’s Last Man Standing competition set for the National Stadium on Saturday March 3rd was on its last legs.
Online chatter and talk among the Irish boxing family has suggested that the exciting Prizefighter-style eight-man single-elimination tournament was in trouble due to a number of pull-outs and may not feature as part of the live TG4 broadcast next weekend.
However, Evans, whose team promote the show along with Red Corner Promotions, was adamant that that certainly is not the case and assured Irish fight fans – and indeed those signed up to take part in the money-spinning middleweight contest – that the full show will go ahead as planned.
“The show must go on,” said a defiant and upbeat Evans when speaking to Irish-Boxing.com.
“I know there are people out there talking and rumours are doing the rounds that we are not going to run the Last Man Standing part of the card or that the show is trouble. I can assure everyone that isn’t the case. We have an obligation to our TV partners TG4 and to the Irish public and we are going to fulfil them.”
Having been hit by numerous withdrawals from the eight-man line-up announced in January, serious questions were asked this week as more fighters were both rumoured and confirmed as being off the roster for the tournament with a €59,000 prize pool.
Not addressing the rumours perhaps allowed it grow, but Assassin suggest that they preferred to get replacements in before they went public with changes.
Regardless Evans pointed out that withdrawals are commonplace in boxing and, although the show’s promoters may not have expected as many, they have lined up replacements.
Six new names should be named as either direct competitors or standby operators over the weekend and the exciting format will bring live professional boxing back to terrestrial Irish TV for the first time in years.
“It’s boxing, you get people pulling out in boxing. That is something you have to deal with and something we have dealt with. We have had positive meetings with the BUI today and we have the replacements lined up. We are just waiting on some paperwork stuff to be confirmed.”
“The bottom line is the show goes ahead we will have a good show and one we will build. We didn’t want to have to say that tomorrow because that press conference is about a cracking undercard and we don’t want to deflect away from that.”
The aforementioned undercard features an Irish light middleweight title fight between Jay Byrne and Craig O’Brien as well as an all-Irish lightweight clash between Victor Rabei and Mark Morris.
The four will go head-to-head at a press conference in Dublin tomorrow at the National Stadium, while the six fighters to bolster the Last Man Standing tournament will be announced in the coming days.
While rumours and uncertainty over participation persist, Chris Blaney, Ger Healy, Sean McGlinchey, Bernard Roe, Roy Sheahan, and Nick Quigley are the six names currently on the roster.
Alfredo Meli, Jordan Latimer, Henry Coyle, Padraig McCrory, and Thomas Finnegan all have withdrawn over the last month.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)