New heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who has family members from Galway and Antrim, yesterday mentioned his wish to fight at GAA HQ. He didn’t rule out the prospect of his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko taking place at the Dublin venue.
“I don’t know if he (Klitschko) is going to take the rematch,” he told Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 yesterday. “There is a contract to say he is entitled to a rematch. I’ve always said I’d like to fight in Croke Park. Maybe that can be a reality one day. I’ve always said there’s a couple of venues I want to box in the world. One of them is Madison Square Garden; I’ve done that one. One of them is Old Trafford; I haven’t done that one. The other one is Croke Park. That’s the three venues I want to box in.”
McKenna said they would consider hosting a Fury fight providing all the right criteria was met and it didn’t impact on the GAA season.
“It is flattering to be seen as a venue for a world champion. There are things like weather, timing and our own fixtures list to consider but if we were approached we would listen.”
Croke Park has only ever hosted one boxing event in July 1972 when Muhammad Ali defeated Al ‘Blue’ Lewis.
UFC fighter Conor McGregor and the mixed martial arts organisation’s president Dana White have regularly mentioned the idea of staging an event at Croke Park. However, McKenna said he has received “no approach from the UFC at all”.
Last month, White said a card including McGregor and Donegal’s Joe Duffy would make Croke Park a possibility.
“To do Croke Park we’re going to need Conor and Duffy to do that one. I think it’s incredible these guys want to fight there. I think it’s incredible the fans want it so bad and I want it as bad as they want it too.”
Fury also spoke about his Irish heritage in his RTÉ interview and now considers himself the “first Irish heavyweight champion of the world.”
He said: “My father was born in Galway, along with the rest of my father’s family who are from the west of Ireland. My grandmother on my mother’s side was born in Belfast, Nutt’s Corner, and I’ve lots of relatives over there. I’m over there quite regularly visiting.
“I boxed for Ireland as an amateur. I boxed in the Irish senior championships. I went to America for Ireland and won a fight, and I boxed Ireland versus Poland and won two fights.
“Like I said in the press conference, I’m the first Irish heavyweight champion of the world.
“I would describe myself (as British-Irish) to be honest,” he added.
“I wouldn’t say I’m Irish born and bred because I’d be lying. I’m born and bred in Manchester but people who know me know I’ve been back and forward to Ireland for a long time.”