Katie Taylor’s homecoming fight slated for May. 20 will not be staged at Croke Park because of an on-going dispute over costs between promoters Matchroom and the 82,000 venue.
Taylor previously said she wants to have her first fight in her home country, Ireland at a sold-out Croke Park. But the bout is now set to be staged at Dublin’s 3Arena, which can hold up to 13,000 spectators.
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn told ESPN on Thursday that the cost was the deciding factor in the breakdown in negotiations.
“It’s not the rent, it’s the cost associated with it,” he said. “An additional cost beyond what you would expect to pay.
“It could be security, it could be stewarding, it could be laying the pitch. It could be all kinds of different things but the total cost is three times more than staging at Wembley, so it’s not having a pop at them, but it’s an opportunity to create a historic event and we would still like to do it. But unfortunately we’re out of time.”
However, Peter McKenna, Croke Park’s commercial director, said the reason the fight could not be staged at Ireland’s biggest arena is “about security costs.”
It is proposed that Taylor, ESPN’s No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter and the undisputed lightweight champion, will fight Amanda Serrano in a rematch of their classic fight at Madison Square Garden, New York, last April — one which sold out the arena and has been considered one of the best women’s boxing fights of all time.
Hearn said the “demands of both fighters” would reflect in ticket sales on top of what the fighters would deservedly command in salary, would make it difficult to execute at Croke Park.
Serrano fights on Saturday for the undisputed featherweight title. She said multiple times over the last two months the only fight in her career she would leave featherweight for would be a rematch against Taylor.
Hearn said if Serrano were not the opponent, it could be undisputed junior welterweight champion Chantelle Cameron or Alycia Baumgardner, who will become undisputed junior lightweight champion on Saturday if she beats Elhem Mekhaled.