Having returned to winning ways with victory over Jamsey Gorman on Saturday night after coming up short in a TV-broadcast Irish light middleweight title fight with Craig O’Brien last month, the welterweight BUI Celtic champion sent out a message to the domestic level fighters at 147lbs.
The self-managed fighter feels he has exhausted all avenues to secure a green belt assault in the Summer to no avail, and urged those he suggests are talking about domestic titles to stop unless they mean business.
The disgruntled puncher, who is moving into the promotional end of the game this Summer, suggests there are some who are trying to con the public by stating they are title interested and urged them to back up their words with actions.
Byrne claims the only way to either the Irish or Celtic strap is through him and is adamant a fight is easily made for those really willing to trade leather.
“I want the Irish title. Look I have to be honest I have contacted the management teams of all the welterweights that are eligible. I am not going to name them, but people know them. I have asked them all to fight,” he told Irish-Boxing.com.
“They are all talking about titles this and titles that. Every interview they do with you [irish-boxing.com] they are saying ‘next fight will be for a title’ or ‘I want a title now’. Well, I hold the Celtic welterweight title so they can’t fight for a title unless they fight me.”
“If they want to fight for the Celtic title they better line up someone for me to fight for the Irish title. I’ll give this up for them to fight for it then. They should all stop saying they want to fight for it and get the fights made,” he added before suggesting how easy it is to make the fight.
“They know where I am, they know how to get in touch with me, I don’t have a manager so they can pick up the phone and talk to me we will get it made. They need to stop saying it to you ‘my next fight will be for a title’ in interviews and mail or call me I manage myself and I am the only way to domestic titles.”
The passionate welter didn’t stop there. ‘The Negotiator’ is willing to promote any potential Irish title fight he is involved in, stating he will be the pay anyone at the weight to fight him on his debut promotion this Summer and also stated he would move to block any domestic welterweight title fight that didn’t involve him.
“Listen I will promote the show, I’ll pay them to fight me, then I’ll beat them get the title I want and then give it back. All I want is the Irish title I will vacate then and let them fight each other for it again. The bottom line is, none of them are fighting for an Irish title or the Celtic title without me. I have told Mel [Christle] that.”
Byrne was speaking just minutes after he had outpointed experienced Belfast hardman Jamsey Gorman. While he is keen for another noteworthy title fight, the Loughlinstown man was happy to have a fight against a journeyman so he could work put into practice what he has been working on with Declan Geraghty Sr.
“I paid to fight tonight, It cost me,” Byrne revealed.
“I got money out of the bank yesterday and paid for this out of my pocket because I needed this fight. I haven’t a fight in a year where I could actually have time to work on things in the ring. Since I went to Declan I have fought Anthony Fowler, John Thain [exhibition], Gerard Whitehouse and then Craig O’Brien, they are all top level and unbeaten lads.”
“As a team we haven’t had a fight where I could say let’s work on this or that and I got that tonight. Deco had his clicker with him and was recording how many punches I landed. He said there were 136 punches in the last round the aim was to throw lots of punches, quality punches and we were trying some other things too.”
Byrne wouldn’t commit to some self-praise despite a more polished performance, but he did note that he hurt ‘The Chin’ and stressed at the very least he has power to do damage at the weight.
“I will watch it back and see. I will have a look and be critical if I have too. I did hurt him in the third round, definitely, I could see it. I think that is testament to the power I have. There are not many of the Irish lads he has fought that have hurt him, he is a tough guy. I think the last person to stop him was Lewis Ritson and look where he is now. I am not saying I am at that level but I definitely carry power around welterweight and light middle.”
The 31-year-old did earn some praise for the never say die attitude he showed last time out but was anything but content with his display against Craig O’Brien.
As a result, he changed things up a bit and explained the new approach after his seventh pro win.
“To be honest I did the weight better than I did for the Irish title fight. I cruised to it and felt fitter this time around. I had to change things. I worked a lot more on my fitness.”
“With Declan I didn’t do a lot of the stuff we usually do with regard to conditioning, that end was left to me and we could focus on boxing, boxing, boxing. I did all my own fitness and a little extra too. People were saying how fit I was for the Craig fight, but I felt I wasn’t as fit as I should be for that fight.”
“I know it was a lesser opponent tonight – and again that’s not me being disrespectful – but I think people seen there was a lot more to me in terms of boxing and ability there tonight. Look, in the last fight I should have been doing that.”
“The game plan against Craig was to go and pressure him but to do it smartly. We had shots worked on that we felt would work, they did work in eight, nine and 10. I think on the judges’ scorecards I won two of those three rounds and the last four rounds I had Deco back in my corner.”