The Irish-language station received massive love and, by many accounts, sizeable viewing figures when they aired Ireland’s Last Man Standing back in March and will now broadcast three hours of ‘The Homecoming’ show from Mayo on December 7th.
Having boxing back on the national airwaves is a massive boost for the sport, but the real benefit will only be seen if a long-term relationship can be built between networks and promoters.
In the case of Assassin Promotions, their stable, and TG4, the Brighton-based outfit’s chief Kaz Evans believes that is about to happen.
While he admits no deal has been signed, the promoter has been encouraged by the meetings held and believes at least four Irish fight nights will get TV time on the station next year.
Indeed, TG4 have said they are keen to follow the career of Ray Moylette and play a part in helping him go from prospect to champion over the coming years while undercard fighters such as Roy Sheahan and Dylan Moran would look to be ready-made 2019 regional headliners.
“Next year we are hoping to do four shows, we haven’t put pen to paper yet, but we will see how it goes,” Evans told Irish-Boxing.com before suggesting it’s a breakthrough moment for the new-to-Ireland outfit.
“People certainly didn’t think we would be getting TV again but we have, so hopefully that sends a message out we are the real deal.”
At a media workout last week there was a heavy TG4 presence, and the channel’s promotion of next month’s event already far outstrips that of the lead-in to Last Man Standing.
There has been constant talk of TG4’s desire to go again, and indeed to go big on boxing, since the Prizefighter-style tournament.
Evans admits that a lot of this talk was fuelled by himself getting perhaps overexcited and he acknowledges that questions began to arise when no dates were confirmed following the show almost nine months ago.
The fight boss explained how “we negotiated the deal with TG4 for the last show and they gave us the air time to present our case, if you like.”
“The viewing figures were phenomenal. and it’s being very frustrating for me because I get all excited and I am telling people we have a deal we have a deal.
“What I didn’t understand is that these things take a bit of time. I thought we could sit there at the table shake hands get a contract and say ‘thanks very much’. It doesn’t necessarily work like that. There are 10 people to okay it and someone to work on scheduling so far ahead.”
“This particular show has probably taken three months to get lined up and we are now at the stage where we are negotiating the next one.”
The TV talking is now done and now it’s approaching time for the action to play out on screens around Ireland as well as to the 2,000 that will be in attendance at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar – and Evans is excited about the show Assassins have put together.
“I think I am speaking for everyone, this is an exceptional card for TV. To get Spike [O’Sullivan] on the card and Ray fighting for a WBC title which come with top rankings is great. The title brings prestige which is great for us as promoters and me as a manager.”
“Then to have Luis Garcia, a real talent that didn’t go anywhere, then obviously the debacle of Roy Sheahan, to have Roy on the card and him back fighting with us for this fight night.”
“I can’t see it failing I really can’t.”