Hearn eyes Croker for ‘greatest ever Irish athlete’

by Jonny Stapleton
0 comment

Eddie Hearn has called for Croke Park officials to help him deliver a historic stadium fight for Ireland’s ‘greatest ever athlete’.

Within minutes of Katie Taylor cementing her legacy as the greatest female fighter of all time by getting emphatic revenge over Chantelle Cameron in Dublin’s 3Arena last Saturday night, the Matchroom Chairman was eyeing up the trilogy and another huge night in the capital.

The Essex’s fight maker wants to go down the road to Jones Road and hopes to make Taylor GAA Headquarters since Muhammad Ali beat Al Blue Lewis in July of 1972.

The DAZN-aligned promoter, who put Dubliners Thomas Carty, Emmet Brennan and Liam Gaynor on Saturday bill, tried to go to Croke Park with Taylor last year but a massive fallout surrounding costs saw the homecoming down graded to the Dublin docklands venue.

Hearn is hoping for some compassion with regard to costings this time around and wouldn’t mind some government assistance either.  

“We could make a financial case on the tourism and why an event like this would be a huge success for this country,” he said.

“But if they can’t understand the compassionate side of giving this event and night to their greatest ever athlete then I really don’t know what we are doing.”

Hearn points out he isn’t looking for a freebie, rather for the costs of Croker to align with the costs of Wembley and the like. Rumour suggested the GAA were looking for in access of 1.5m last year and with Wembley costing £400,000, Hearn wasn’t going to pay it.

“We are not even asking for favours. All we are asking for is for the cost to be in line with the biggest stadia in the world where we hold boxing. We don’t want a free stadium. If they want to give us one that would be marvellous.

“All we are saying is just make it there or thereabouts at Wembley, or Millennium Stadium or Dallas Cowboys.”

Hearn points out going to a Stadium is ideal for someone with the Irish Icon’s following, it would make it more financially viable for families and the tens of thousands of young Taylor fans.

“The difference as I said before about going to Croke Park we could make it more accessible to people. We had to hit numbers on a gate. So, we have to draw up a gate plan. It is expensive. The tickets tonight were expensive and not everybody can go.

“At the shopping centre (for the public work out) there were all generations, eight, nine-year-olds. You’re got granddads. And when you have got €30 tickets or cheaper and 10,000 of them it is going to be a massive celebration for generations in this country. That is the appeal and I know it would appeal to Katie as well.”

Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron during their undisputed super lightweight championship bout at the 3Arena (above) and (inset) Katie’s mother Bridget Taylor and manager Brian Peters celebrate her victory on Saturday. Pics: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Related Articles