Fighters Like Conlan and Taylor Showing a Resurgence in Irish Boxing?
By Dan McConnell
This past weekend two former Irish Olympic athletes continued to carry the torch for Irish boxing and extended their winning ways in their professional boxing careers. Former World and Olympic Gold medallist Katie Taylor (11-0) retained her WBA and IBF lightweight titles by defeating Cuban Cindy Serrano via unanimous decision in Boston on Saturday night.
Also taking over the states this past weekend was former World Amateur and Olympic medallist Michael Conlan (9-0) who racked up his ninth win inside the pro ranks by knocking out Italian Nicola Cipolletta in the seventh round in Las Vegas. The statement made by former UFC two-weight world champion Conor McGregor is proving to be true, we are not here to take part we ere here to take over.
Over the past few years combat sport in Ireland has been in the headlines for all the right reasons. The nation of Ireland is known for producing excellent amateur boxing talents throughout the years, but also most recently in the MMA circle which has been given a new-found appreciation with the John Kavanagh led Team SBG producing top talents, most notably grabbing the headlines because of ‘the McGregor effect’ as its commonly known.
The Irish nation has a history of fighting for a cause especially during challenging times where their backs are against the wall. This new spirited life-blood of boxing talent has been bubbling quietly below the surface and now is coming to life on the grand stage.
Northern-Irish man Carl Frampton takes on IBF featherweight title holder Josh Warrington in Manchester on the 22nd of December. It was recently announced that Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes, who returns to the ring after his WBC flyweight title defeat to Cristofer Rosales in August will feature on the undercard. Unbeaten light-heavyweight contender Stephen Ward who is undefeated in his nine contests is another Belfast-boxer featuring on this jam-packed fight night.
It is no doubt that Katie Taylor and Michael Conlan main-eventing their own cards help raises the profile of each individual fighter and to create fan awareness for who they are and what they do inside the ring. It is also great to see these fighters feature on the card of huge domestic bouts which Frampton v Warrington will certainly be one of them. I have no doubt boxing in Ireland is on the rise and getting more attention from teams like MTK Promotions, who are signing these sought after talented amateurs and providing them a platform to showcase their skills on a regional and global scale.