So fast was Gary Russell Jr that Patrick Hyland had to watch his fight with the WBC featherweight champion back in slow motion to see the punches that put him to the canvas.
Indeed, the Dubliner had to be convinced by his team that he was down three times in the second round in the changing rooms after the clash.
It was a clean cut execution rather than a beat down. The American became the first man to drop and stop the Dubliner, and while Hyland left the ring impressed he also left dazed and confused by the speed of his opponent and the quickness in which he finished off the fight.
“I felt I did ok in the first round. I came back to the corner and said I think I need to put it on him, because I didn’t want to go behind like I did in the Fortuna fight [for the WBA Interim title]” he told Irish-Boxing.com
“I didn’t want to be chasing the fight.”
“Russell is smart and was setting me up, I couldn’t see that at the time. I was thinking when he goes to the body again I will come back with the right hand, he did that and I dropped my left and bang!”
Knowing that he was in against one of the World’s best, Hyland can laugh now, and jokes that “I didn’t see it. He is so fast I didn’t even know he hit me the first time.”
“When I went back to the changing room people were saying I did well to get up three times. I was asking them what they were on about.”
“The first one [knockdown] I thought I only stumbled against the ropes and the second time the ref wouldn’t let me up. I was convinced that is the way the round went.”
The Jobstown puncher was highly complementary of the WBC champ and admit’s that “looking back at it on TV, the speed of him is something else. I know I didn’t see it in the ring and I barely seen it on TV.”
“I did do well getting up and I did want to keep fighting, but he is a different calibre of fighter than the majority at the weight.”
“He is number one and he will clean up the featherweight division. He is unbleivably talented and his speed gives him his power.”
Hyland has taken the defeat on the chin and can even smile about the stoppage, but he was serious when he warned July 30th foe Josh Warrington not to read too much into only his second career defeat.
‘The Punisher’ is adamant that the World title reverse and the manner in which it came about is the reason he finally got an offer from Matchroom to fight the Leeds fan-favourite.
“No disrespect but I think he would do the same to Warrington,” the 32 year old added before suggesting the Russell Jr result was the catalyst for the Warrington fight offer.
“It took me to get my ass beat for them to come to me and offer me the fight.”
“How long have I been looking for the fight?”
“I hope they are looking at that fight and judging me on that. I think they see me now as a stepping stone, but it’s not going to happen.”
“I was beaten fair and square by the best at my weight, but Warrington is a different story altogether.”