Firm in dispute with HSE plans series of boxing events

An Irish festival management company in dispute with the HSE over Chinese fans has launched a series of boxing exhibitions, starting with a fight involving Floyd Mayweather atop a Dubai helipad.

Roqu Media International has started promoting “Global Titans”, a series of boxing and mixed martial arts events.

The series, which bills itself as “the next generation of fighting entertainment,” is set to begin with a fight between Mayweather and Don Moore.

Mayweather, 45, retired as a former five-weight world champion in 2018, beating UFC star Conor McGregor to improve his professional record to 50-0.

Conor McGregor, right, and Floyd Mayweather Jr during their super welterweight boxing match at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, USA. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Moore, also 45, hasn’t fought since 2016 but has gone undefeated in his 18 bouts.

The fight is due to take place atop the helipad of the Burj al Arab building in Dubai, the world’s only seven-star hotel, on May 14.

Locations for future fights include the Pyramids of Egypt in December, Niagara Falls in July 2023 and the Colosseum in Rome in September 2023, according to its website.

Global Titans describes itself as “a subsidiary of Roqu Media International and Yakomoz Events”.

He announced a partnership with Everdome, “a metaverse project based on binance smart chain”.

A metaverse is a 3D virtual world, notably endorsed as a concept lately by Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Meta, Facebook’s parent company.

Roqu Chief Executive Robert Quirke said, “With the sports tech market expected to reach $42 billion by the end of 2027, we are proud to be an early adopter of this new exciting world called the Metaverse”.

Robert Quirke, President and CEO of the Roqu Group.
Robert Quirke, President and CEO of the Roqu Group.

He said having a plot within Everdome, which he described as “the most hyper-realistic metaverse,” “will help take our sporting engagement to a new level.”

The Metaverse portion of Global Titans isn’t the series’ only technical idiosyncrasy – its site boasts that all tickets to the Mayweather fight will be non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a unique digital asset stored on the same type of digital ledger than a cryptocurrency.

Roqu Media has been in a dispute with the HSE for two years over €10.3 million paid to it to procure ventilators from China in March 2020, at the time of a global shortage of life-saving machines.

According to the HSE, only 65 ventilators were received, and the devices subsequently failed to meet quality standards for clinical deployment. They have been stored in Ireland ever since.

Mr Quirke, a 42-year-old Westmeath native, did not respond to a request for comment regarding the Global Titans series or the ongoing dispute with the HSE.

The HSE, when asked about the resolution of the dispute, said it was “not in a position to comment on this specific issue at this time”.

Laura J. Boyer