Hyland keen on EU crack

21 April 2010 – By Steve Wellings

Unbeaten Tallaght prospect Patrick Hyland has been nominated for a crack at the EU featherweight title.

Veteran campaigner Esham Pickerings name has also been thrown into the hat and it is hoped the two will do battle in early summer, at a Dublin venue.

When we got the call Patrick accepted straight away and the EU title is a good stepping-stone for us, said father/trainer Paddy Hyland.

People say that Pickering is past his sell-by-date and even though he got stopped last time by [European champion] Oleg Yefimovich, Eddie has sparred with Yefimovich and I think the boys a bit special.

Pickerings best days are undoubtedly behind him, but the 33-year-old was a smooth operator in his heyday, holding British, Commonwealth and European honours at various points of his career. He has lost three of his last four contests but all in good company and extended puncher Paul Appleby the full 12 rounds in 2008.

Well be hoping to bring the fight to Dublin and purse bids are on April 26 so well wait and see, confirmed Paddy.

There are still a few things to be discussed but we think its a very winnable fight for Patrick.

Paddy also ran the rule on his other sons, Eddie and Paul, with exciting times lying ahead for the Hyland clan.

There was a possibility of Eddie fighting the European super-featherweight champion Leva Kirakosyan at short notice, he said.

Eddie accepted the fight but the champion himself refused because of lack of notice which is understandable. It would have been a career-defining fight for Eddie but the amount of time to prepare wasnt ideal for a title of that stature.

Eddie will fight anybody; it wouldnt have been a walk in the park for Kirakosyan. Thats the second time Eddie has accepted a crack at that belt the last time was about a year ago [a proposed bout with then-champion Sergei Gulyakevich]. Kirakosyan knocked out Scott Lawton recently and we would have taken the same approach against a strong, hard hitting opponent.

Paul, meanwhile, has a trickier assignment on his hands in the form of ex-WBC title challenger Simone Maludrottu. The rugged Italian has been mandated as Pauls next challenger for the EU super-bantamweight belt. Irish fans will recall Maludrottu ending the illustrious career of Damaen Kelly, firstly with a highly-controversial points win in Andersonstown, and then with a resounding stoppage in Italy.

Paul knows he can hold his own against the best in Europe after sparring former French Euro champ Malik Bouziane as the Parisian prepared for a world title crack.

Paulie was fantastic against Bouziane in Paris, lauded Hyland.

Bouziane was stripping himself down in weight to challenge for the super-flyweight world title, which ended in a draw [on April 9 against Simphiwe Nongqayi].

The height of the guy was immense, he should be fighting at super-bantamweight or higher still. After watching Paulie sparring him I told Pat Ryan Id love that fight, at any weight. Young Jamie Conlan was over sparring Bouziane as well Conlan is clever enough and it was a good experience for him. Bouzianes work rate is non-stop and Paulie dealt with him. The French coaches were impressed with Pauls ability.

The plan they are working to right is on schedule and the big fights are now starting to come as the Hylands talent shines through: Were getting the fights now and doing things the hard way. At European level and beyond there are no easy fights and weve stuck it through for the last 3 years since I brought the lads back [from London] and were knocking on the door now.

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