ITC: Crumlin Boxing Club, Dublin

November 22 2023

Friendships Forged for life as Matchroom visit the famous Crumlin Boxing Club to a rapturous reception.

A truly Irish welcome met Matchroom Chairman, Eddie Hearn, on Wednesday night in Dublin as he visited Crumlin Boxing Club – the notorious home of UFC superstar, Conor McGregor.

Hearn was joined by Matchroom fighters Josh Warrington, Skye Nicolson, Giorgio Visioli and Maiseyrose Courtney, as over 100 Crumlin members and a troupe of Irish dancers – courtesy of our brand partner, Forged Irish Stout – signalled the start of our latest fight week community event.

The fighters joined forces with Head Coach, Phil Sutcliffe, to deliver a guest session, Q+A and show tickets to lucky youngsters as part of the build up to the World Title rematch between Chantelle Cameron v Katie Taylor at the 3Arena on Saturday night – with a press up (seniors) and plank challenge (juniors) deciding the backstage VIP winners!

Every club member was also provided with a brand new pair of boxing gloves, courtesy of our partners at Everlast.

What you learn in here is going to help you so much in life.

- Eddie Hearn

“What you learn in here is going to help you so much in life,” explained Hearn to his audience.

“Hard work, discipline, respect, manners, team work, working with each other in the community. This is a great place for you to be and some of you won’t realise it yet, but what you learn in here will mould you into being a good person and achieving in life – whatever you go on to be,” he continued.

“Down here, nothing really matters. It doesn’t matter what you look like. Doesn’t matter how tall you are, how small you are – you’re all a big family.”

It's so refreshing to see so many girls in here!

- Skye Nicolson

Australian sensation, Skye Nicolson, was also keen to highlight the importance of amateur boxing gyms – as well as recognising the growing number of females taking up the sport.

“It’s amazing being here,” said Nicolson.

“It brings back really good memories being back in an amateur gym. Full of talent, full of dreams, full of ambition, full of hungry kids just wanting to succeed and better themselves – and it’s so refreshing to see so many girls here as well!”

"If your coach says you're out, you're out!"

The press up and plank challenges have become a regular feature of our community visits, but rarely have we seen them so hotly contested – with the grit and determination on display at Crumlin Boxing Club something to behold.

Someone that caught the eye of everyone was 7-year old Jackson Kearney – who, despite his tender years, held a plank for almost 20 minutes for his chance to win tickets to Saturday’s show!

Although Jackson didn’t win the overall competition, Eddie Hearn and Josh Warrington were so impressed with his display of courage and bravery that they gave him a special award and tickets to fight night anyway.

Sometimes it comes down to how bad do you want it and your mindset.

- Josh Warrington

“In this game of boxing – and in every walk of life – it’s not always about your physical attributes, sometimes it comes down to how bad do you want it and your mindset,” proclaimed Warrington.

“Like Eddie said, he’s seven years old – and he didn’t want to lose. He got down to the final two, out of all the other kids who were doing the plank – and he still considers himself a loser?! He’s a winner right there, he’s won already!”

The qualities displayed by the young Crumlin boxers were reminiscent of those shown in the ring many years ago by their illustrious coach, Phil Sutcliffe, himself a legend of Irish boxing.

Sutcliffe, make no mistake, was elite – a pioneer.

- Steve Bunce

Legendary boxing journalist, Steve Bunce, also in attendance on the evening, wrote of Sutcliffe in his Boxing News feature on the event.

“He is the great Phil Sutcliffe, the man who defied the odds at a time when boxers from Eastern Europe dominated the sport. Sutcliffe and his green vest took on the might of the old Eastern Bloc and returned with medals,” wrote Bunce.

“In those long forgotten Cold War days, boys like Sutcliffe were fighting against kings, iron-curtain royalty. He won a bronze medal at the 1977 and 1979 European amateur championships, losing both times to the eventual champion. He had similar luck at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics; he lost to Daniel Zaragoza in Moscow and Maurizio Stecca in Los Angeles. Stecca won gold, both won world titles. Sutcliffe, make no mistake, was elite – a pioneer.”

On Wednesday night in Dublin, it was clear to see that Sutcliffe’s boxing story still has many more chapters, to be written by his next generation of Irish boxing talent.