The first step in granting a licence for the touted world boxing rematch between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano in Croke Park has been given the green light.
Former lord mayor of Dublin and Independent Councillor Christy Burke along with political colleague Niall Ring had tabled a motion for the Central Area Committee and an emergency motion at Monday night’s monthly meeting of the council.
All councillors have agreed to back the granting of a licence to allow the October staging of the match to go ahead between the Bray native and the Puerto Rican.
Councillors also backed calls that Olympic Gold medallist Kellie Harrington, who is to be bestowed with the Freedom of Dublin City on June 11th, be placed on the October bill. Harrington, who originally hails from Portland Row, a short distance from Croke Park has said “if the opportunity came, I would take it with both hands for sure”.
Tentative talks are already underway between Croke Park management and Taylor’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Jake Paul, Serrano’s agent on holding a rematch in front of 80,000 fans in October.
Cllr Burke said: “Everyone wants this fight to go ahead in Croke Park to acknowledge what great sports stars and role models these women are. Not only is it a wonderful opportunity for them but for the entire country to be showcased on the world stage.
“Now it is down to the promoters and Croke Park management to work out the finer details of money and costs.”
'At the top of her sport'
The Bray native emerged victorious at Madison Square Garden on April 30th after a match she described as a “career-defining” performance in a split-decision points victory for the 13th overall title defence and fifth as undisputed lightweight champion.
Minister for Sport Jack Chambers has pledged his support for the proposed fight.
Meanwhile, Cllr Burke also said he believes 36-year-old Taylor should retire from boxing at the top of her career following her next bout.
“Katie has achieved so much in her career and no doubt she has set up herself for life financially but being realistic her fight last Saturday night was tough on her, and she got a lot of punches to her head.
“No-one around in Ireland and indeed around the world wants to see her get injured. She should seriously consider retiring when she is at the top of her sport. Katie will have no trouble expanding her career in the years ahead whether it is TV punditry or coaching”.
One of the several residents organisations around the Croke Park venue have said they would not block the holding of the event if it went ahead.
Normally planning regulations allow for three events per year (planning law year) to be held at Croke Park which are not GAA fixtures. Five Garth Brooks are already tabled for September.
The planning year to allow for outdoor concerts being held begins after the month of April annually.