The promoter of world champion boxer Katie Taylor has sparked fury among Irish fans by suggesting that British fans should ‘claim her’.
Essex man Eddie Hearn is well known for enjoying a bit of banter but may have overstepped the mark this time with some Irish boxing fans.
Following her win over Greek star Christina Linardatou, Hearn told the Manchester crowd: “”First of all I want to say congratulations to a true icon, Katie Taylor.
“Everyone should be so proud of her. Ireland should be so proud of her, but we’ll claim her too.
“She’s just an absolutely brilliant example of how hard work, drive, determination and a dream can get you to the very, very top.
“She’s an absolute pleasure to deal with, she’s changed the sport on its head. Katie Taylor is an absolute legend of the sport of boxing.”
His comments about the British claiming her too didn’t exactly go down well with Irish fans who have become used to the British media wanting a piece of the action whenever an Irish star excels.
One Twitter user said: “Here Eddie Hearn, less of that ‘we claim her too’ nonsense about KT. She is ours.”
Another said: “Eddie Hearn, Ireland should be proud of her (obviously we are) and then says WE claim her too?? Well Eddie you can f off.”
Another user said: “Eddie Hearn excuse me, Katie Taylor is Irish, you have no claim on her!”
While he may not have a legitimate national ‘claim’ on her, there is no doubt that Hearn has had a huge impact on Taylor’s career.
When Taylor signed with him after winning gold at the London 2012 Olympics, women’s boxing was virtually non-existent as a money-spinning spectator sport.
However, thanks to a handful of high-profile promoters, including Hearn, the sport has seen a surge in investment and viewing figures. Taylor has become one of the biggest female stars around the world and is capable of headlining international shows.
While Hearn has been great for Taylor, she has also been great for him, providing him with the talent and star quality necessary to venture into the growing market of women’s boxing.
Taylor is now a two-weight world champion in the professional ranks.
— Joe (@icecoldbulmers) November 2, 2019
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling