Hyde ‘certain’ of Tokyo 2020 spot now Joe Ward has gone pro

Tommy Hyde always believed he would represent Ireland at the Olympics, but now Joe Ward has turned pro the teen amateur is certain he is destined to compete in Tokyo next year.

Quite where that initial belief came from is unsure considering Ward was nigh on untouchable in terms of the High Performance, was always going to be sent to any qualifiers or major tournaments and was deemed a 2020 gold hope.

However, Hyde was always positive and entered last years National Elite Championships hoping to get a shot at the Irish captain.

Injury to the West Meath man ensured that didn’t happen and Wards place as first choice for International tournaments remained steadfast, but things have changed over the last week.

The Moat BC man has confirmed he is going professional and it opens things up in terms of the domestic amateur scene.

As National Champion Thomas O’Toole will be hoping he is sent to the major tournaments throughout 2019, Tony Browne may consider moving down from heavyweight to his natural weight and then there is young prospect Hyde.

The Cork youngster, who will fight with the vest on, on the Leeside Revolution card, believes he is the man the fill the Ward shaped hole and is adamant he will be Tokyo bound.

“I knew I was gonna get to the Olympics somehow and now with Joe gone pro I’m certain it’s going to happen,” Hyde told Irish-boxing.com.

When the fighter, whose father Gary Hyde is a boxing manager of note, was added to Martin Horgan’s Leeside Revolution card there were some suggesting he was about to ditch the vest.

The reigning Intermediate champion, who fights in an exhibition, confirms that was never the case and reveals his short term fudture remains in the amateur ranks.

“My plan was always the same and that is to get a lot of international experience with the main goal going to the Olympics and then on to the pro game.

“Of course I’d love to turn pro eventually I’ve been around professional boxing since I’m 7 or 8 years old but I’ve a big future ahead of me as an amateur yet.”

While his immediate future is at amateur the Rebel county man’s next appearance will be part of a pro show.

The National Elite finalist competes on the first pro show to visit Cork in over 10 years and fights at home for the first time in 2 years.

Not only can he not wait, he also predicts an eager Cork crowd will generate a brilliant atmosphere.

“I’m delighted to be boxing at home. It’ll be my first fight in Cork in over 2 years. It’s great to be boxing in front of friends and family again,” he continues before commenting on the atmosphere.

“They’ll definitely be loud in Cork. I think there will be a great atmosphere. I know Noely Murphy has a huge following and I’ll have a nice crowd too It’s going to be a great show.”

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]