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Forget surviving the Lions Den I’ll go to tame the lion this time, says Hyland

The last time Patrick Hyland went into the Lions Den at World level he was more concerned with escaping unscathed than taming the lion.

However, this time round ‘The Punisher’ is going out to prove he can be King of the featherweight jungle and is determined to grab his chance with both gloves.

The Tallaght fighters sole career defeat came against the much vaunted Javier Fortuna in a WBA interim title fight back in back in 2012. The former Irish champion admitted their was an element of avoiding embarrassment as he took on a noted puncher in front of the World. As a result he started slow before impressing with a strong finish.

The post fight breakdown produced a lot of ‘what if’s’ from team Hyland at the time and the 32 year old 32 fight veteran is adamant that won’t be the case when he attempts to become only Ireland’s second WBC World champion and our first titlist at featherweight since Barry McGuigan.

Hyland told Irish-boxing.com he will be going all out to ensure he dethrones Gary Russell Jr in Foxwoods on April 16. Indeed, the Lou DiBella puncher says he would prefer to go on his arse knowing he gave it his all than to have the regrets he did post Fortuna.

“Looking back at it if I would have went to tame the lion earlier I would have done better in the Fortuna fight,” Hyland said.

“I waited till the latter rounds and in hindsight I possibly should haven’t done that, but he is a big puncher. It was my first time on the big stage and in the back of your mind your thinking ‘I don’t want to get embarrassed here and stopped’.

“Believe me this time I don’t care. If I am behind on the scorecards I am going all out. A World title is on the line and I would rather go out on my shield and look back and say I gave it a go. I would prefer to go out on my arse than to lose on points knowing I didn’t try and go for it. I will leave it all in the ring.”

That desire to go out on his shield and go all for victory is fueled by the fact Hyland knows this might be his last chance on the biggest stage in American on a World wide broadcast card. The fact he will be drinking in last chance World title saloon on April 16 has motivated him further to ensure he is sipping champagne post bout.

“I was just saying to Steo (Ormond) I am at it 12 years and this year should be my year. It is all or nothing. I know there are fights still there for me, but World title fights? I don’t know when this chance will come again. I want to be fighting the best and World championships.”

“You can’t get much bigger than this. Stateside live main event on Showtime. This is the stuff of dreams. Look at me I am just a lad from Jobstown and I am fighting on top of the World. The hard work has paid off and things have worked out. Russell is in for a tough night”.


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years