When Gabor Ambrus was confirmed as Jay Byrne’s debut opponent, eyebrows were raised.
Not that people felt it was a big test for a fighter with limited experience and punching for pay for the first time, rather the Loughlinstown native gained instant respect for not taking a ‘gimme’ routine win for his pro introduction.
Indeed, the 29 year old admits his surprise at been thrust straight into tough fights rather than gain experience against non-threatening opponents and – in a revelation nearly as refreshing as the choice of opponent – Byrne admits he was initially anxious when he first studied Ambrus record.
Ambrus holds a winning record, has four knockouts from seven wins and will most definitely be sharp having this month traveled to Italy to take on Alessandro Goddi (25-1-1), with the bout being stopped early due to a clash of heads.
While he is still more journeyman than trade or crossroads fighter, not many debut opponent’s records would read the same as Byrne’s, and he admits it surprised him.
“My opponent changed for the second time at the end of last week and, I wont lie, when I seen his record I was a little bit anxious,” an honest Byrne told Irish-boxing.com before revealing trainers Tommy McCormack and Eddie Hyland put him at ease.
“After a brief chat with Tommy and Eddie they assured me that I’m more than ready to beat this guy.”
“They’re the bosses so once they believe in me that’s good enough for me.”
“I didn’t watch him at all, I leave that to the lads and trust 100% that they will send me in with the correct game plan to get my first win.”
While he admits to early opponent concerns, once he began discussing the work and preparation he has put into his first ever pro camp, Byrne showed no signs that the initial shock had turned into fears.
The former novice champ even feels he has the capabilities to register an inside the distance win.
“I’m confident I am good enough to beat this lad and show people that I belong in this game.”
“With the work Eddie and Tommy have put in I’ll be waiting for that chance to end this early.”
“If it goes four rounds I will also be happy as for me this is also about learning and no better way to learn that getting rounds under the belt.”
It seems that confidence has been instilled by the faith his coaches have shown in him, but the debutant also feels quality sparring in the build up will help him register an impressive debut.
“I’ve been sparring Pajo Hyland regularly and learning lots. He made sure I was fixing silly little habits I had from the days when I had no coach.”
“He would then would talk to me and show me little moves after each spar that would bring me on more.”
“I also got numerous rounds with Paulie Hyland, Sean Creagh and Philip Sutcliffe and I must thank all the lads as I learned so much from sparring all of them.”
Indeed Byrne was full of appreciation when talking to Irish-boxing.com, thank his sponsors the promoters and even this website, despite initially committing the cardinal sin of calling us Boxing-Ireland!
“I would like to take time to thank Frank Stacey and Mikey Devine of FS Promotions for taking me on and giving me the opportunity. I’d like to thank my sponsors again Matt Britton Flooring, High Spec Tech, Ramblers Rest, MC MOTORS, GK Autopoint and I would like to thank Irish-boxing.com for the coverage since I turned over.”