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Big step-up opponent named for Paul Hyland Jr

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We will find out what Paul Hyland Jr [12(4)-0] is made of in his next fight.

The crowd-pleasing lightweight has had some impressive wins over tough opposition in the last twelve months, but will crank it up a gear on the aptly named “Another Level” card at the Europa Hotel in Belfast on Saturday 8th October.

‘Hylo’ will take on a career-best opponent on the dinner show, facing Felix Lora [18(9)-20(1)-5] of the Dominican Republic over eight rounds. Now boxing out of Barcelona, the Caribbean fighter promises to be a real acid test for 26 year old Hyland.

Lora, 32, has gone the distance with three World champions, current WBC lightweight champion Dejan Zlaticanin, former two-weight champ Devon Alexander, and recent WBC light welterweight titlist Viktor Posol. Lora has also faced and extended Kevin Mitchell, current European champion Edis Tatli, and Yvan Mendy.

The islander has fought in nine title fights with the four major governing bodies, travelling to his opponents’s back yards and upsetting the odds more than once. In 2012 he won the WBA Inter-Continental lightweight title, stopping Italian Massimiliano Ballisai in the fourth, and also outpointed Pole Krzysztof Cieslak for the WBC Baltic lightweight title. He had perhaps his biggest win in 2013 when he took a split-decision win over Ukrainian Serhiy Fedchenko for the WBO light welterweight title. Back in 2010 Lora also scored a first round stoppage over BeNeLux champ Hovhannes Zhamkochyan in a WBC International Silver super featherweight title fight.

On the match-up, MHD Promotions head honcho Mark Dunlop described how “Felix Lora is a big step up for Paul, he has only failed to hear the final bell once in 43 fights and is a true test for the already strongly-matched 26 year old Belfast lad.”

“I mentioned three names to “Hylo” and would be lying if I did not think he would have chosen Lora who, was by far the strongest, he is a Gladiator in every sense of the word”

An opponent for chief support Ronnie Clark has also been named, and the Scot will take on former Ryan Burnett and Declan Geraghty opponent Reynaldo Cajina [14(10)-36(8)] from Nicaragua in a six rounder.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie