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Change of plan for Jay Byrne following stoppage defeat

Jay Byrne [5(1)-3(1)] has lived what he calls ‘the dream,’ but a nightmare result last Saturday night has persuaded him to change tact.

Byrne lost against a Matchroom prospect for the third time when he was beaten by Anthony Fowler in Liverpool. The Negotiator went into the fight thinking he could win, but suffered a first career stoppage, being dropped and incapacitated in the fourth round.

While the 31 year old former Bray Wanderers footballer takes great pleasure and pride from appearing live on Sky and on big bills, he wants to leave the sport with happier memories than the one created on the undercard of Paul Butler verus Stuey Hall.

Byrne doesn’t want to put his family or children through seeing him put on the canvas again and that, aligned with the pain of defeat for a proud man, has convinced him to change his career path.

The Loughlinstown man now wants to fight at a set weight and on a more level playing field – and has decided to set himself an Irish title target.

“I lived the dream and after it I said that’s enough now. Enough of the big stage like that as I don’t want to be in fights with that outcome,” he explained to Irish-Boxing.com.

“That’s not me. As I’ve always said all along I do this for the memories and I wanted to try upset the odds but, after Saturday, I just said ‘okay Jay, that’s not an experience I want for my family or kids.’ I don’t want them to witness that again.”

“After the fight I spoke to Declan [Geraghty Snr], Tommy [McCormack], my family and also Eddie [Hyland]. They all said I need to get back onto the domestic scene and work on what I’ve been learning. Now it’s time to go win an Irish title before even thinking of walking away.”

There are plenty of fights for Byrne domestically. Indeed he has set an appetite for some with some verbal sparring over the last year, particularity with Gerrard Whitehouse’s team.

It seems good domestic derbies on the likes of Red Corner or Boxing Ireland/Tony Davitt shows could be next and, if all things go to plan, Byrne is not ruling out a return to Matchroom and Sky further down the line.

“Look, to arrive over in Liverpool and spend six days there and be apart of all that was incredible.”

“I will return to welterweight now and I know I’ll be a massive name in Ireland at that weight. I am going to prove that I am worth that name now.”

“I do want to shout out to everyone who supported me along the journey. I want say thanks and to you guys as well.”

“I will return to Sky one day, but only at welterweight.”

Byrne spoke bravely after his third career defeat and certainly wasn’t hiding, but he honestly felt come Saturday night and over the days following he would be talking to the media on a real high. The Negotiator went into the clash with the highly thought of prospect expecting to win, but claims he froze on the night.

“I prepared excellently for the Fowler fight. Genuinely I felt the upset was there for us after an excellent camp both training-wise and sparring.”

“I just froze and never got going once I got in there. I’ve no excuses or anything I have to take the defeat.”

“Fowler was what I expected, big tough and was going to come forward looking to land big shots, however his jab was very good.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years