After entertaining Belfast featherweight Martin Lindsay stopped a then much-hyped Paul Appleby in an atmospheric Ulster Hall to become British featherweight champion.
‘The Mac Man’ took the pretty belt to the Immaculata club in Divis and it certainly caught a young Hyland’s fancy.
Since that moment in April 2009, the Lagmore lightweight envisioned the day he would buckle the Lonsdale belt around his waist and he is adamant he will make it a reality in Newcastle on June 16th.
“I’ve wanted this title since I was an amateur boxer in the Immaculata club and Martin Lindsay came in and showed off his Lonsdale belt,” he explained to the Belfast Telegraph.
“Now the hard work starts and I am going to do everything I can to win it.”
Commonwealth Youth bronze medalist Hyland, who boxed for the Gleann and Immaculata clubs in his amateur days, has been targeting the British title for a long time, with his name being linked to former champ Scotty Cardle since back in 2016.
Made mandatory at the end of last month, he finally gets his chance against a champion looking to win the belt outright.
The war-loving Hyland noted how “I’ve been calling out the champions for the past two years, but finally I am in the position to get my chance and I have to thank Eddie Hearn and Mark Dunlop for pushing me to this point.”
“This is a title I’ve been looking to fight for over the last few years. I’ve fought everyone that’s been put in front of me and I’ve been made mandatory.”
Standing in the way of Hyland and a career-changing title win is Ritson. The Newcastle native has become flavour of the month since he took his title tilt with a dominant dethroning of Robbie Barrett before quickfire defences versus Joe Murray and Cardle.
Indeed, Matchroom now seem to believe he has the profile and the talent to bring a show to Newcastle along with Ryan Burnett and Michael Conlan stable mate Josh Kelly.
Eddie Hearn is obviously looking to build with the pair in the city, but mandatory challenger Hyland is ready to spoil the party.
“I know that Ritson is a good boxer, I’ve seen a few of his fights so I know his style and I’ll have a game plan which I will try to execute and if I do that then I’ll get the belt,” added Hyland.
“It’s a massive opportunity for me. A win against Ritson can open the door to big things.”
“I know Lewis is going for his third defence so he’ll be doing everything to stop me. It’s going to be a cracking fight. I’m here to take my chance.”
“I believe I can be victorious. My last few fights, I’ve been to war and I’ll be there for the full twelve rounds, I hope he is as well because it’s going to be a tough fight”