Irish kickboxing figurehead Billy Murray has jetted out to the US for a series of talks that could lead to a major new era for the sport in Northern Ireland.
Murray is in New York for a meeting with bosses from the kickboxing fraternity stateside with plans in development to stage an annual international competition between a US team and a Northern Irish team – each held in the other’s nation year in consecutive years.
“It’s still at the early stage but we’re moving ahead with talks,” said Murray. “In the past we have worked mostly with promoters in Europe, especially France, Italy, Spain and Germany. There have also been occasional showings in Canada. But to get to the level where we are talking about a major international co-promotion in America – well that’s a whole different ball game.
“It’s exciting and it shows how far we have come in just a few years and how seriously the US – which financially and in terms of organisation – is the well-spring of world kickboxing is now taking us. For a long time I have been saying that Belfast, especially through my ProKick group, is the HQ of kickboxing in Europe. This proves it.”
Murray said no dates had been set yet for the event, but that further details would be released in the next six weeks.