At first glance the defeat of your headline act on a show that brought non-concept boxing back to terrestrial TV appears disastrous.
However, Slater argues that bill-topper Ray Moylette [11(4)-1(0)] and Assassin Promotions are stronger than ever going into 2019 – even going as far as to say that the Mayo lightweight has become the ‘biggest star’ in Irish boxing.
Many would argue that the defeat is extremely damaging to both Moylette’s career and Assassin’s plans while plenty will scoff at the claims of him being our ‘biggest star’ – although it is assumed that Slater is referring to fighters fighting in the Republic of Ireland.
However, despite a split points loss to Mexican Christian Uruzquieta, the Mayo lightweight has massively raised his profile and partaken in a fight that brought all that’s good about the sport back into homes around the country.
‘Sugar Ray’ got up off the canvas twice in round five of a WBC International Silver title bout which excited a loud and partisan Castlebar crowd and those watching on TG4.
The guts shown during the Paschal Collins-trained fighter’s first major step up doesn’t quite negate the result, but it does mean that it won’t have a massively negative effect on the former European gold medal winner’s pro career claims Slater.
He also points out the gut-packed performance, aligned with how well the main even was received on television means, Assassin and Irish boxing’s hopes of a long-term link up were were enhanced rather than lessened despite main even defeat.
“Losing is an awful thing no matter what,” started Slater when speaking to Irish-Boxing.com.
“But the way he performed was excellent and courageous, on another night he would’ve got the nod in an extremely close fight.”
“In terms of wrecking things for Ray – there are not too many boxers that go throughout their careers without losing. That was Ray’s first tilt at world level, a win there would have put Ray within touching distance of a world title fight within two years of turning pro, which is incredible.”
“Barring the two knockdown, we’d be sat here saying Ray’s arguably one of Irelands best at the moment and would be classified as a world class boxer. If anything, he’s proven that he belongs at this level, and with the experience he’s gained, he’ll undoubtedly come again and be a much better fighter for it.”
Slater believes the success of the show leaves boxing outside of Belfast in its best position for quite some time.
The young fight boss outlined how “in terms of our plans with promoting shows, I would say this is the strongest position we have been in, and the best place Irish boxing has been in, in a very long time.”
“Look at the appetite there is for pro boxing in this country. Look what we have created. The buzz and excitement around Irish boxing over the last few days is something I haven’t seen in the last 10 years.”
“Put it this way, we sold out 2,000 – If we did a rematch next year, would every single person that cane to the show not buy a ticket straight away? We’d probably sell 2,000 tickets in a few hours.”
“And if you were sat at home and could see the atmosphere, then you’d be thinking ‘when’s the next one? where do I get tickets?’ that’s the effect of all of this.”
A win would have made it a perfect night but, reflecting with his promotional hat on, Slater thinks the show overall was a success and claims it’s the start of something big for Moylette, Assassin and Irish boxing.
“To sum it all up, Ray has become the biggest star in Irish boxing overnight with that courageous effort.”
“We have some big plans and this is only the start.”