‘I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be able to box again’ – Tommy Hyde opens up ahead of ‘special’ debut

A pro debut is something special that is cherished by all fighters.

However, there are not many who will appreciate their maiden pro boxing voyage more than Tommy Hyde.

A paid bow is valued because of that ‘you only get one’ element, but at one stage for Hyde it looked like he’d get none.

On the verge of a high-profile debut on top of a sold-out card in his native county of Cork, the 23-year-old was informed of irregularities in his MRI.

As a result, the bill was cancelled and the light heavyweight talent was effectively retired before he ever got to throw a punch without a vest.

Not long after his career was ‘terminated’ and the proposed April 2 Beginning Card called off, it was confirmed Hyde was given the ‘all clear’ and that he ‘is 100% healthy’. It was explained the issue revolved around his ‘reaction to an antibiotic’ taken when he was much younger.

Now some months later the National Elite amateur finalist is again ready to debut and admits the pain felt in April will only add to the pleasure he feels competing in America this weekend.

“When I was having my debut in April it felt like it was a long time coming but little did I know I would have to wait another 8 months. I’m really excited now to get started on this new chapter,” he tells Irish-boxing.com.

“The Cork show was cancelled four days before the fight and I was devastated. I was getting unreal support from everyone at home and the show was going to be sold out. I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be able to box again so I’m just delighted and grateful to be back at it,” he adds before revealing there will be something extra special about Thursday’s proceedings.

“This whole experience has been very difficult for me and my family. I’ve been working in the bar at home and every day I have been getting asked when am I fighting. All I could say was I’ll be fighting soon, so now here we go the time is finally here. Thursday night will be a special night for me.”

As well as being special, debuts are also a free hit, although Hyde didn’t seem to get that memo.

The fighter, who will have his father and experienced promoter and manager Gary Hyde guiding his career, starts in a relatively tough fight at Sioux Falls in South Dakota.

The Hector Bermudez-trained Springfield Massachusetts-based prospect takes on Jiri Korda [3(3)-3(2)-1], a fighter he’d be expected to defeat but a 37-year-old whose three knockout wins suggest he will at least test the Rebel’s chin.

“The fella I’m fighting is game so he’ll be coming to win but I’m looking to start my career as I mean to go on and take him out in a couple of rounds.”

Although Hyde has had to wait for his debut date he hasn’t been idle. He reveals he continued to work under Bermudez, who coached TJ Doheny to world title success in America and makes his debut more pro-ready as a result.

“I’ve been learning and improving all the time. Even with no date, I went over to Springfield during the summer for another couple of weeks just to keep things fresh in my mind. I’ve stayed in the gym this whole time so I really feel like there’s a big difference between my last fight 12 months ago and now,” he adds before taking time to thank those who showed kindness during his troubled period.

“I just want to thank everyone who reached out to me since April. It’s been a tough time but I’m very grateful for everyone’s support.”

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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com