The Irish Mail on Sunday - - SPORTS -

BARNEY EAST­WOOD has al­ways been mys­ti­fied to Dublin’s luke­warm re­la­tion­ship with pro­fes­sional box­ing and has never un­der­stood how the sport hasn’t cap­tured the heart of the city – as it has done in Belfast.

Apart from a brief ex­plo­sion when Bernard Dunne was WBA Su­per ban­tamweight cham­pion and sold out the Point, pro shows are con­fined to smaller venues such as the Na­tional Sta­dium and Ci­ty­west.

‘I of­ten thought that Dublin was the ideal city for pro­fes­sional shows, that it was set up for it. But it has never really taken off there and I don’t know why,’ East­wood says.

‘There was a cou­ple of years there with the young Bernard Dunne, but the scene faded again. Even when we had Barry McGuigan and Steve Collins, there wasn’t as much in­ter­est as there should have been. And I al­ways thought it was set up for pro­fes­sional box­ing to take off.

‘Maybe now with young [Ed­die] Hearn giv­ing Katie Tay­lor (pic­tured) the push she de­serves, they might be able to do some­thing next year.

‘But it has al­ways been a mys­tery to me why shows never took off there.’

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