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Friday 30 September 2016

'Rio should be amateur'

Hatton's co-promoter Stacey rues Olympics allowing pros

Boxing promoter Ricky Hatton. Photo: Getty
Boxing promoter Ricky Hatton. Photo: Getty

Dublin's dynamic new boxing promoter Frank Stacey is not a fan of having professional boxers competing with amateurs in the Olympic Games. The man who, with Ricky Hatton, is promoting The Future event at the National Stadium on June 25, says, "It's a sad day for amateur boxing. A lot of young boxers are having their dreams smashed."

Stacey's theory is that young amateurs who develop their skills in the amateur ranks give themselves more bargaining power if they perform at major tournaments including the Olympics. "Now they'll be looking at going pro at a younger age," he says, "which, ultimately, might not be good for them."

A hand injury, picked up when he was 20, ended Stacey's career as a boxer. Having been coached by the late Patrick Hyland, and also Phil Sutcliffe, Stacey turned his attention to guiding young boxers at Westside BC. It was there that he impressed the visiting Ricky Hatton, who invited him to Manchester.

That was over two years ago. When Stacey mentioned there were few opportunities for emerging pro talent in Ireland, the duo teamed up as promoters.

Encouraging

It's hoped the show on June 25 will be the first of many. "The Boxing Union of Ireland and Mel Christle have been brilliant, really encouraging," says Stacey. "But we'll need the support of the public and the boxers."

With Frank managing Jake Hanney (4-0, 4 KOs), the Dublin boxer who's been working as a scaffolder since he returned from Australia where he was regarded as a hot prospect, the future looks bright for the welterweight who felt he had nowhere to go.

"We have a pathway towards titles for him," says Stacey.

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