25 May 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Patrick Hyland will get the chance to add the WBF World featherweight title to the most decorated mantle piece in Irish boxing when faces tricky French pro Philippe Fernois in the National Stadium on June 25.
In what is a real family affair Hyland will challenge for world honours, albeit for one of the lesser belts, on show that is promoted by his father and includes his brothers and fellow Irish champions Edward and Paulie Hyland. The middle of the three much decorated siblings, who has just returned from helping Brian Peters stable mate Andy Murray as he prepares for his EBU title fight next week, believes winning the international strap will help progress his career to the next level.
The undefeated Tallaght native has long been on the peripheral of big things, but claims his record has all the top European featherweights running scared. Hyland stressed only massive amounts of money can turn reluctant would be challengers into willing opponents. However, the Irish featherweight champion believes adding the WBF crown to the packed Hyalnd trophy cabinet could propel him into the world top 10 and in turn force title holders into fighting him. In fact so eager is the renowned puncher to secure the belt and the potential prestige it brings that he has agreed to less money than away fighter Fernois, who he claims is his toughest test to date.
I was really buzzing when I got the news. I dont want to be fighting six rounders anymore I want to be in contention for major titles, Hyland said.
I am 28 and I am hitting my peak, Hyland said. Hopefully this year and next year I get the major title shots. I want to fight all the top fighters, but people are avoiding me because of my record or they want ridiculous money. Even in this fight I wont be getting as big a purse as my opponent. But I want this title money isnt the issue. I want the recognition and I want to be pushed up the rankings and this title will help me do that. If I get pushed up the rankings and keep winning they have to fight me. There is also an option we could make this title prestigious again and defend it against big names, Hyalnd added.
The French fighter (14-3) is expected to test the Shamrock Rovers supporter. Fernios was deliberately chosen as the toughest of two options after an undefeated Canadian fighter declined an offer to challenge Hyland for the vacated strap. One of the biggest punchers in Irish boxing seems determined to step up a level and he has been impressed with what he has seen of the French man so far.
I watched him on you tube he is a good boxer. He stands up tall and he has a good jab. He is sharp around the ring, he is very slick and he knows what he is doing in there. He is tough lad too. He has never been stopped so hopefully I can stop him am make a statement. I am training for 12 rounds but if the stoppage comes Ill take it. It is another 12 round fight against a good opponent. I plan to get the WBF world title then secure a shot at a major belt.
A intriguing Irish middleweight dust up between Dublins Robbie Long and champion Gary Spike OSullivan will play chief support bout on a card that boast seven Irish champions.
The National Stadium show will also see the return of BIG brother Eddie Hyland after an 18 month sabbatical and will host Paulie Hylands first fight since he lost to Willie Casey. Irish cruiserweight champion Ian Tims also appears and Jim Rocks protg Brendan Fitzpatrick faces a stiff test against Irish light heavyweight Ciaran Healy.