FS Promotions in association with Hatton Promotions made their first foray into the Irish boxing scene on Saturday night with ‘The Future’ at the National Stadium.
The show was an entertaining night’s boxing and, with many more shows planned, we have outlined below what worked well and what aspects could be improved.
– The Opponents: Nearly every opponent on the card came to fight rather than shell-up. The Irish prospects were given mostly tough tests. Of the nine non-debutants, we would say four faced the toughest opponents of their career to-date. Of the 54 scheduled rounds, we saw 42, with just four stoppages.
– The Scale: 12 fights! We were in dreamland. It was like an Irish version of the York Hall, and it could be even bigger next time. The geographical spread of fighters was a good call too, this was Irish boxing, not just Dublin boxing.
– The Pacing: While the show started a half an hour late this is understandable for a first effort. Once the action got going it never stopped, with 12 bouts and 42 rounds being rattled off inside four hours. No long gaps
– The Running Order: There was some shrewd planning put in here and a very clever move to but the likes of Sean Creagh and Stephen Carroll side-by-side for comparative purposes. The spread of fighters who share fan-bases was a good move too, for example having Alan Donnellan and Darren Cruise at opposite sides of the card to ensure fans stayed for the entirety of the show.
– The Bar: People could have a drink and a chat away from the noise outside. A small thing but it certainly helped the atmosphere and an incentive for people to stay who would have otherwise may have gone off to the pub as soon as their man was finished. Also, for anyone who had a few drinks beforehand, they didn’t have to spend the whole time at the show gasping for their next pint.
– The Ring-walks: Affording each fighter the chance to have a personalised ring-walk was a good move to build atmosphere and give a sense of occasion. The classic dance tracks for the opponents was also an absolutely genius move and got people singing, rather than the generic Rocky ring-walk that we so often see.
– The Co-Operation: It was good to see three of Mark Dunlop’s stable appearing on the card. If Irish boxers are to prosper we need to have more of this cross-promoter co-operation.
– The Pricing: For 12 fights, €35 General, €50 Ringside, was quite reasonable and group ticket deals for clubs was another good move. The lack of assigned general admission seating also allowed fans to rotate and mingle depending on who was in action.
What could be improved:
– The MC: It was the young lad’s first time MCing and he has a lot of potential. It’s definitely nice to see some fresh blood, but there are some things that could be added to help further build the atmosphere.
– mentioning the boxers’s nicknames (only ‘The Ginger Ninja’ Chris Blaney had his read out)
– giving the boxers’s records.
– giving the boxers’s home-town, rather than just “from Ireland.”
– shout-outs to the boxers in attendance and any upcoming plans they may have. Saturday had Phil Sutcliffe Jr, Andy Lee, Kenny Egan, Jono Carroll, Lynn Harvey, and more.
– Storylines: While the running order certainly alluded to future fights such as Carroll and Creagh, it would have been a good idea to make it more explicit, have the MC mention it, and maybe even get the pair in the ring for a picture and a head-to-head.
– Lack of a headliner: Should not be a problem in the future considering their plans for all-Irish fights, and Chris Blaney did indeed put on a brilliant performance as headliner this time round, but a show probably does need a natural climax, and something to attract the more neutral fan.
– The Poster: A minor thing, but the quality of the poster was not the best. A professional-looking poster with a bit of photoshop to put all the boxers together rather than nine condensed little photos would look a whole lot better.
– Sound: The sound quality from the MC’s microphone was not brilliant.