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What if – Irish fight nights had UFC-style bonuses?

Often the deciding factor for judging whether a fight card was a success or failure, at least for us here at Irish-Boxing.com, is the fights themselves.

Having exciting, competitive fights is, or at least should be, the main thing so as to entertain the Irish boxing fans who have spent their hard-earned money to attend and support shows

A recent discussion among ourselves here though centred on what else might be able to be done to add to the promotion and excitement of Irish fight cards.

One idea that did crop up was to use something similar to the UFC’s Fight Bonus structure, albeit on a much smaller scale.

For every UFC card, both the Fight of the Night and the Performances of the night are announced afterwards, with the winners being awarded a bonus $50,000 (bonus given to both parties in FOTN, and two fighters chosen for POTN).

Obviously such a structure would be difficult to implement, and both managers and trainers may perhaps object, with it potentially distracting boxers.

In terms of positives, it would give boxers an opportunity for greater financial reward, maybe make fighters push for more competitive opposition, and encourage the opponents brought in to fight more aggressively.

Looking back at the six cards which have taken place in Ireland this year, we pick below the fighters we felt would have been deserving of this hypothetical bonus.

Saturday February 4th
‘Inquisition’ – MHD Promotions
Europa Hotel, Belfast

Fight of the Night – Ronnie Clark v Rafael Castillo
A six round war, the Belfast-based Scotsman emerged a 60:57 points winner after an extremely competitive fight
Performance of the Night – Jay Byrne (v Sandor Jozsa)
Fighting above his natural weight, the Dublin battled through an early left shoulder injury which left him in severe pain and unable to throw a jab.

Saturday February 25th
‘Unfinished Business’ – Red Corner Promotions
National Stadium, Dublin

Fight of the Night – Luke Keeler v Lewis Taylor
The headline fight was an extremely close one (despite the 80:72 scorecard), with Keeler’s powerful shots edging the activity and strong jab of Taylor.
Performance of the Night – Stevie Collins (v Pablo Sosa)
‘The Wolfhound’ took a big step up and exhibited some classy boxing skills to widely outpoint a game opponent that was viewed as a big risk beforehand.

Friday March 3rd
‘Dust up at The Devenish’ – Ginley Promotions
The Devenish Complex, Belfast

Fight of the Night – Alfredo Meli v Laszlo Fazekas
The show opener saw Meli take on a game opponent that had mixed it with top names. The throwback Belfast fighter put on a typically high-activity display with some real flashes of skill.
Performance of the Night – Ciaran McVarnock (v Antonio Horvatic)
Making his return to the ring after almost a year, the New Lodge featherweight overwhelmed his Croatian opponent, landing a frightening number of punches over the four rounds.

Saturday March 4th
Belfast Promotions/Prospect Boxing show
Shorts Recreation Centre, Belfast

Fight of the Night – Tony Nellins v Ross Jameson
The drawn welterweight four-rounder was one of the Fights of the Year, with both boxers trading massive shots for the entirety of the contest.
Performance of the Night – Matt Wilton (v Arvydas Trizno)
The Belfast welter gave a classy six-round display, dominating the experienced journeyman to open the show

Friday March 10th
‘Belfast Boys are Back’ – Queensberry Promotions
Waterfront Hall, Belfast

Fight of the Night – James Tennyson v Declan Geraghty
A stunning clash of styles for the Irish super featherweight title, with Tennyson scoring a sixth round stoppage when Geraghty looked to be in the ascendancy.
Performance of the Night – Tyrone McKenna (v Jake Hanney)
Following fireworks in the build up and then in the opening rounds, McKenna would slowly wrestle his way on top until the bout was stopped in the sixth.

Saturday April 22nd
‘A New Era’ – Kieran Farrell Promotions
The Devenish Complex, Belfast

Fight of the Night – Sean McGlinchey v Josef Obeslo
The Derry fighter began his pro career with a war. Fighting against an opponent who was over a stone heavier, it was four rounds of big shots.
Performance of the Night – Feargal McCrory (v Jay Carney)
The headline bout, billed as a 50:50, saw a better-than-ever McCrory explode out of the blocks and dominate from the very start up until the bout’s halt at the end of the fourth round.

frayne carpentry

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show:

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie