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02nd Feb 2023

Katie Taylor’s homecoming bout to take place at the 3Arena due to Croke Park costs

Robert Redmond

Katie Taylor Dublin fight

Taylor is set to fight at the 3Arena in May.

Katie Taylor’s rematch with Amanda Serrano will not take place at Croke Park due to the high cost of staging the fight at the GAA stadium.

The pair fought in an epic contest at Madison Square Garden last May, when Taylor emerged victorious on a points decision to retain her world lightweight belts. It was the first-ever women’s boxing fight to headline the famous arena in New York City.

Taylor wanted the rematch to take place at Croke Park, which could have held up to 80,000 people. Instead, her long-awaited homecoming fight is likely to be staged at the 3Arena on May 20. The venue can hold up to 9,000.

Eddie Hearn, the Irish fighter’s promoter, has said due to the GAA’s rental costs for staging the fight, it was not feasible for the bout to take place at Croke Park.

The Aviva Stadium was mentioned as a possible venue, but the Dublin stadium will host the rugby Champions Cup final on May 20, the date that the fight must be staged due to broadcast considerations.

“The cost of hire and everything involved in the event is three times hire nearly than staging it in Wembley Stadium,” Hearn told the MMA Hour.

“Ultimately, Katie Taylor has financial demands for this fight, and so does Amanda Serrano, and we want to make sure we deliver on that.

“We’re so far out on that possibility, on the cost of running that show, and we’re out of time on delivering that date to the broadcaster.”

Hearn went into further detail about why the rematch will not be staged at Croke Park during an interview with Boxing King Media.

“The fight won’t take place at Croke Park,” he said.

“We’ve done everything we can to (make it happen). Ultimately, and bizarrely, the cost of doing a show at Croke Park is three times more than Wembley.

“People will say on social media, ‘Oh, pay the money, Hearn!’ It’s like, ‘No, no. The fighters want this much money’.

“If we do it at Croke Park, even with a sellout, with the cost that they want to charge, it’s not possible to give the fighters what they deserve.”

The Matchroom promoter also suggested that the Irish government did not do enough to help stage the fight at Croke Park.

“When you talk about government help or support, people think you shouldn’t be asking for that,” Hearn said.

“If the government, and I’m not having a pop at the Irish government,  are supporting sporting events – which they do – how can you not support an event that will be quite simply one of the greatest events in the history of Irish sport?

“It’s disappointing.”

The 3Arena in Dublin. Photo via Sportsfile.

Taylor’s last fight was a comfortable victory over Karen Carabajal in October 2022. The 2012 Olympic champion has a perfect professional record, winning all 22 of her fights.

Serrano, meanwhile, is scheduled to take on WBA featherweight champion Erika Cruz on February 4 in New York. If she wins that bout, the Puerto Rican boxer will set up a rematch with Taylor in Dublin.

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