24 November 2009 – By Mark Doyle
Paulie Hyland is hoping that not only will Bernard Dunne reclaim his WBA super-bantamweight world title but that the Neilstown man will defend the strap against him in what would be a mouth-watering all-Dublin match-up.
Hyland is currently readying himself for his first Irish title defence, against Eugene Heagney on the undercard of Matthew Macklins clash with Rafa Sosa Pintos at the National Stadium on December 5.
However, like most Irish fans, Hyland has been caught up in the speculation surrounding the future of Dunne, who was stopped in his first WBA title defence against Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym in September.
While some have written Dunne off, Hyland is adamant that his fellow Dubliner can win the title back.
The Tallaght native reasoned: “Not many people gave him a chance after the Kiko Martinez defeat and he came back from that to become World Champion and I think he can do it again.
“A lot of people have been talking about me fighting Bernard and thats a fight Ive always wanted but I think there would have to be something at on the line for that fight to make sense.
“Ive looked up to Bernard for a long time. I remember when I first turned pro he sent me a text congratulating me after my debut.
“Hes put Irish boxing on the map and although he lost to Poonsawat, I believe he can become a World Champion again and when he does, then can you imagine two Dubliners fighting for the World title? That would be something else.”
Hylands immediate goal is successfully defending his Irish title in order to pave the way for a shot at European Union champion. David Chianella.
“Im the mandatory and that fights coming up in Italy in February. Ill probably have to travel to his hometown for that one but I dont mind, Im confident Ill win the title wherever the fight takes place,” he declared.
Reigning European Middleweight Champion Matthew Macklin headlines the Sierra Fight Night when he takes on Uruguayan Champion Rafa Sosa Pintos at the National Stadium on December 5.
The undercard also features a second Irish title fight with Dublin fan favourite Anthony Fitzgerald meeting Lee Murtagh for the Super Middleweight title. Unbeaten Cork-based Cuban sensation Luis Garcia, undefeated Dundalk Lightweight Michael Kelly and new Belfast pro Jamie Conlan will also be in action.
Tickets for the Sierra Fight Night priced from 40 are available from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie) and all usual outlets.