Patrick Hyland’s dream of becoming the oldest-ever Irish champion is no more after the BUI refused him a licence.
‘Pajo’ has been training hard since early last year, eyeing up a comeback. The 40-year-old had ambitions on one more run and hoped to make history by becoming the oldest-ever green strap holder.
The former Irish champion got back in shape under the watchful eye of big brother Eddie Hyland and was targeting a February return to the ring.
The plan was to get a few wins under the belt before fighting for the Irish title, where he hoped for a historic win.
However, the dream was distinguished as the Boxing Union of Ireland, after consultation with specialists, elected against granting the former world title challenger a licence.
It’s a decision the middle of three boxing brothers has taken on the chin and one he seems to understand, although that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.
“As a few might have known I was training hard and this year I wanted to return to the ring for a few more fights, but due to circumstances out of my control it will not happen! Was in with the BUI yesterday as much as I am bummed about the outcome I fully respect their decision,” he explained online.
“They will not grant me an Irish licence on the fact of my age and inactivity of coming up to 8 years out of the ring! Gutted, to say the least definitely few good fights left in this young man.”
The ruling means Lee Murtagh’s record as the oldest Irish Champion is safe. The Leeds-born former title holder finally got over the green strap line when he beat Joe Hillerby a few months shy of his 39th birthday in June of 2012.
‘Pajo’ confirmed his retirement at the age of 33 in September of 2016, ending a twelve-year professional career that saw him win the Irish title and challenge for World honours.
While he had, at times, a stop-start career, the cheerful Dub racked up a 31(15)-3(2) record during his time in the pros on both sides of the Atlantic and was a hugely popular member of the Irish boxing family.
Across his decade-plus of service, Hyland won the Irish title and gave Javier Fortuna all he could handle before two successive stoppage losses to the extremely talented Gary Russell, in a WBC world title fight, and Leeds world champion Josh Warrington prompted him to call it a day.
He had hoped to write one more chapter in the ring but his boxing future now looks likely to solely revolve around amateur club Golden Cobra.