Following a year of Covid19 enforced inactivity for professional boxing in Ireland, this weekend five Irish boxers will finally get the wheels back turning on their fighting careers. With the promotion of any type of indoor spectator sport in Ireland a distant prospect, the need to venture outside Ireland is a must and the destination is Luxembourg.
While the promotion takes place in a locale known as a financial heavy hitter for investment management and tax breaks, unfortunately no such favor will be bestowed on these Irish five who must fund their own Dutchy adventure. The aptly named “Back to Business” promotion is a behind closed doors event meaning fighters depend on personal sponsorship in place of revenue earned from ticket sales.
Currently due to the cost of event insurance and sanctioning fees in the South of Ireland, it is not viable to run events without the revenue from ticket sales. The only option at this juncture for fighters not signed to promotional companies with broadcast revenue is to travel abroad where events costs are minuscule in comparison to Ireland and slots can be purchased.
As professional athletes, the group are permitted to travel, but must undergo a battery of Covid19 tests prior to entering Luxemburg and before returning to Ireland. While travelling under the current pandemic restrictions is both complexed and expensive, unbeaten light middleweight and Irish Army soldier Dominic Donegan underlines the importance of getting back through the ropes.
“Momentum is really important in sport and particularly in boxing as you progress and build towards bigger fights and eventually titles. Its easy to lose the forward motion and its over a year now since I boxed so any longer and it will feel like I’m starting over again”.
While for the majority it is a case of regaining momentum but for Jamie Morrissey, a standout former Irish Muay Thai champion it’s just the beginning. Having signed a professional boxing contract with the well established Boxing Ireland Promotions in November 2020, Morrissey is now ready to taste his first rounds of professional boxing.
Speaking ahead of his much anticipated debut the Limerick favourite is confident he has left no stone unturned in terms of his preparation and is fully focused on enjoying the experience that awaits him in Luxembourg.
I signed with the lads in Boxing Ireland Promotions before Christmas and have been working hard in the gym awaiting the call for my first fight. I’m ready, I feel really strong both physically and mentally and I’m going to embrace the experience. This is the start of it and I just can’t wait to get things moving.
The group make up a broad country wide representation comprising of, Jamie Morrissey, Dominic Donegan from Limerick and Cavan respectively, Kevin Cronin from Kerry, Owen O Neill from Belfast, and the only female of the pack is 22-year-old Katelynn Phelan from Kildare who following her recent world title success in Germany is touted by many within Irish boxing to eventually fill the shoes of Ireland’s Katie Taylor.
The promotion takes place on the evening of Saturday March 20th in the southern town of Dudelange. For those with a fondness for the squared circle can keep track of results on Irishboxing.com or can watch the event live on https://fb.me/e/gi8VbxXZX