They are the thoughts of DDP Promotions boss Paul Keegan on his ‘Emerald Exiles’ idea.
Brisbane-based Dubliner Keegan is only two shows into his promotional career but could soon have a world champion in Dennis Hogan on his books and as a result has been looking at homecoming options.
The businessman will do all he can to ensure the Kildare fighter’s dream of defending a world title on a massive Irish show is fulfilled if Hogan can claim WBO light middleweight title currently held by Sadam Ali – who defends versus Jaime Munguia on Saturday in New York.
During a recent trip to his homeland another show concept came to him and Keegan and the DPP team are now looking at promoting a Dublin show packed with Irish exiles.
The globe is full of Irish fighting talent and diaspora that have yet to fight in their homeland, not to mention a number of Irish-based fighters who fight abroad more often than they trade leather in front of home crowds.
Being an exile of sorts himself, Keegan knows what it would mean for such boxers to fight at home and for their families and friends to be afforded the opportunity to watch them perform in person. As a result he believes an exile show would work and is actively working on it at present.
Logistically it may prove difficult, but the Dubliner believes it there would be enough goodwill to prompt the compromises possible to make it happen.
“The exiles show would be a huge undertaking but is it possible? Yes,” Keegan told Irish-Boxing.com.
“Teams would have to compromise to get it across the line but imagine some of the Irish guys who haven’t fought in their homeland yet. You have the likes of Dennis Hogan, Darragh Foley, and TJ Doheny just to name three. All of those fighters are the verge of world titles and they haven’t fought on home soil yet or heard a home crowd on their entrance.”
Obviously the show would open it’s arms to all manner of Irish fighters abroad but Keegan suggests the best way to go would to have a card mixed with some established ticket sellers in Ireland and those returning home and even hints at matching the returning and the local talent against each other.
Keegan outlined how “I think we could do a half local, half overseas card and we could be onto a winner.”
“Boxing is one of the sports Ireland punches above its weight in on a global scale so why can’t we showcase that talent at home?” he added before stressing he would love to discuss the ideas with the promoters already working on the ground.
“I’d love to see what local promoters are keen and have a chat with them. All going well we would look at two shows – an exiles show and a Dennis Hogan title shot or defense in Dublin. That was the goal years ago and hasn’t changed, Dennis wants to walk out in the 3Arena.”
Keegan has had success with his two Hogan topped-shows at the Brisbane Convention Centre and believes the fresh ideas they bring to the table could work for an Irish audience.
“Irish boxing fans will get behind quality events. I would look at doing the type of show we do in Brisbane and cater for every budget.”
“We do a VIP experience, dinner, drinks packages, and then the general seating. We try and make our shows an event where you dress up – it’s not something you can go to every weekend so make it a special occasion and let us bring our own style to Irish boxing,” he added before revealing he has TV meetings lined up.
“I am going to meet multiple TV people in the next two weeks and see who is interested and would they get behind the plan. It would be impossible for us to try and even think about doing a big show in Dublin without TV.”