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Gentleman’s agreement – Jay Byrne shakes on interesting Irish title fight for Senan Kelly

Jay Byrne has a handshake deal with an unnamed Irish welterweight to fight Senan Kelly for the Irish title.

Kelly claimed a first career title by beating Welsh champion Jake Tinklin on JB Promotions ‘The Recall’ card at the Red Cow on Friday night.

The BUI Celtic title win also secures the Pete Taylor trained fighter mandatory status for the Irish strap and Byrne assures, subject to BUI approval, he will challenge for it in May.

Indeed, he says he shook on a deal with an Irish fighter in attendance on Friday and has a gentleman’s agreement for what he believes will be an entertaining domestic battle.

“I’ve shook hands on the Irish title fight tonight,” Byrne said when speaking to Irish-boxing.com.

“I have to get it approved by the BUI but I can’t see that being a problem. Once the BUI approves it, it will be announced and that will be in May.”

While the JB Promotions boss was happy to share the when and the for what with regard to Kelly’s fight, he wouldn’t confirm the who. There has been whispers Declan Geraghty may end his brief retirement to share the ring with the Kildare man and talk of Lee Reeves versus Kelly – both were in the Warehouse on Friday.

The former BBBofC and BUI Celtic champion notes it represents a positive change as he struggled to secure Kelly opposition for the first domestic title fight of the year.

With that in mind, Byrne was particularly delighted to see the Kildare fighter receive reward for being brave enough to take a risk and a financial hit to get himself a step ahead.

“It was a tough fight but no one wanted to fight him,” Byrne adds when talking about making the title fight.

“No one was ready? These lads at 6-0 and 7-0 weren’t ready? He was ready at 6-0 to fight a lad 11-1. There’s the difference and that’s why they talk about levels. He has confidence in his ability, he knows his ability and tonight he showed it against a fighter who had two 10-round title fights one at welterweight and one at light welterweight.

“He is the Welsh champion, he done 10 rounds before, Senan was gassed out after four rounds in his last fight and tonight he stepped up. People need to look around and ask themselves’ what am I doing if I’m not going to be in 50-50 fights when I’m ready’?”

Kelly certainly proved himself ready for a step up with a points win in a high octane-entertaining fight and speaking after fighter turn promoter Byrne heralded it as the best small win of any active fighter.

“Name me another Irish fighter outside the lads fighting on Matchroom shows and the like that have a better win on their record than that?” he asked.


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years