by Jonny Stapleton
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BY Jonny Stapleton

Eddie Hearn says he remains open to working with Croke Park despite the fact they took ‘the p*ss’ when it came to pricing a Katie Taylor May 20 homecoming.

The Essex fight maker had initially planned to bring Taylor home in a Stadium fight and had hopes of promoting Taylor-Amanda Serrano II at GAA Headquarters this Summer.

20 March 2023; Katie Taylor, left, and Chantelle Cameron face off with promoter Eddie Hearn, centre, after a media conference, held at the Mansion House in Dublin, ahead of their undisputed super lightweight championship fight on May 20th at the 3Arena in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

A disagreement over running costs meant Croker was put on ice and the Irish Icon will now come home in a 3Arena-hosted clash with undisputed light welterweight champion Chantelle Cameron.

At a press conference on Monday both promoter and fighter were keen to point out they didn’t need Croke Park to make May 20 special but the Matchroom boss did hit out at the GAA when pushed on why he didn’t take the extra financial hit for Taylor’s sake.

Read more in this weeks Dublin Gazette out in stores now

When Matchrooms most recent annual profits were put to him [a turnover of £123m and £10m net profit] along with a suggestion he could have afforded to pay the GAA’s asking price, Hearn, who has regularly bigged Taylor up as his favourite fighter, said he only made such a profit by avoiding paying over the odds and also suggested he was a bit upset with the GAA for looking for three times what Wembley would cost.

“If you look at the success of the business that’s why it is successful: because it makes the right commercial decisions. For me, you don’t go into a show of that magnitude to lose a lot of money. And just like Katie Taylor, we will make sure that she gets the right deal when she fights. It’s the same for any business.”

“I’m not prepared to do a fight of that magnitude after all the investment in Katie to break even on a show that might sell out.  I wouldn’t say to Katie Taylor that, ‘oh, the numbers don’t really work out so you need to take a pay cut to make this happen’. Business doesn’t work like that.”

Hearn also seems insulted by the GAA’s asking price potentially making the decision to go to the 3 Arena one of principle.

“Also, when you are going to negotiate with someone and the cost is three times more than Wembley Stadium… To be honest with you, I think it takes the absolute p*ss. For a stadium… We have done national stadiums, we have done 90,000, 80,000. Numbers are numbers and for three times the cost of running a show there it just left a little bit of bad taste but that is our problem, not Katie’s problems. “

The Matchroom boss won’t bite his nose off to spite his face and says he will consider revisiting Croke Park again in the future.

“She wanted to fight at Croke Park and we will work to make that happen but what I am not prepared to do is be involved in a fight of that magnitude, with a huge amount of risk and work, for nothing for our family business.”

Pictures By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

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