Jay Byrne [6(2)-3(1)] believes that, if you look at the respective achievements of both fighters, he should be deemed favourite going into his eagerly anticipated Irish light middleweight title fight with Craig O’Brien.
The fight has been built as a 50-50 domestic dust-up, but it seems when pushed to call a winner Irish fight fans and some within the boxing family lean slightly in the inner-city Dub’s favour. Indeed the bookies have Byrne at even money and the unbeaten O’Brien [7(0)-0] favourite at 8/11.
The suggestions are that the skill of the BUI Celtic light middleweight titleholder will trump the will of the BUI Celtic welterweight champion who is predicted to finish strong.
Although it’s a slight favouring of the Paschal Collins-trained fighter, the Declan Geraghty trained Byrne has been questioned before and admits he rejoices in proving people wrong.
However, in this case, he is surprised he isn’t deemed favourite to buckle the prestigious green belt around his waist in the National Stadium on tomorrow night.
The self-managed puncher has three defeats on his record to O’Brien’s none, but those came against massive Matchroom prospects across the water and he believes that, if you take those reverses out of the equation, his record makes for stronger reading than his fellow Dub.
“He hasn’t fought anyone. This is my tenth fight, my fifth undefeated fighter, my seventh fight with a guy with a winning record. He has been in against all losing records, all journeymen, he has been on the floor and he has never knocked anyone out. The facts don’t lie,” a confident Byrne told Irish-Boxing.com.
The Loughlinstown puncher’s last outing was a hyped all Irish affair with Gerard Whitehouse going in as the 4/9 betting favourite.
7/4 underdog Byrne emerged victorious that night thanks to a fourth-round stoppage and he claims he can see a scenario where history repeats itself on the TG4 broadcast Last Man Standing card.
“I hope to God Paddy Power have me the outsider again because my family and friends made a right few bob on me last time – but, realistically if you look at the records I should be favourite,” Byrne said before the odds were released this evening.
“Take out the three Sky fights, which were against big names, I’d be 6-0 going into this one but I would still have fought for a title, beat an unbeaten Irish fighter. I fought against guys that come to fight, live opponents and I have a couple knockouts.”
“I am not saying I am Phil Suticliffe Jr but I know I can punch and I genuinely believe I can stop him. I will be going for the knockout. I will get the chance and when I do I’ll go for it,” Byrne added before commenting on the dealing with doubters.
“Look, on my debut people were saying I was stupid for taking on a 7-3 fighter considering I had no experience. 18 months later and we are fighting for an Irish title. Then the Whitehouse fight comes about and it’s ‘Jay will be outboxed’.”
“I have always had people saying ‘you won’t do it’, ‘you’re going to lose’, and that I took the wrong choice. It’s kind of nice when you overcome it to shut another one up.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)