Jay Byrne bins retirement talk and goes back to school with new coach


Jay Byrne [5(1)-3(1)] dipped into his own pocket to fight on this weekend’s MTK Scotland show in a bid cement his relationship with new trainer Declan Geraghty Snr before his eagerly anticipated dust-up with Gerard Whitehouse.

Welterweight Byrne and the father of Irish stylist Declan ‘Pretty Boy’ Geraghty, who has his own domestic dust up on the horizon, worked together for the first time when the 31 year old took on another noted Matchroom name in Anthony Fowler, live on Sky Sports back in September

However, that fight didn’t go to plan for The Negotiator, in fact he felt it went so bad that he virtually retired on the walk back to the dressing room.

Byrne claims he froze and 10 weeks of good work with his coach went down the drain and he was stopped in the fourth by the Rio Olympian.

So dejected was the proud fighter at being beaten inside the distance that he came close to calling it a day after a whirlwind few months.

Thankfully the former Bray Wanderers footballer was talked out of retiring and, as a result, Irish fight fans have another domestic grudge match to look forward to on the Celtic Clash 4 bill at the National Stadium on Saturday December 2nd.

Unfortunately Byrne’s fight this weekend at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow has been officially cancelled, with sanctioning difficulties for his opponent seeing the Dub miss out on a chance to add a win to his record.

However, Byrne will still feature on the card and get a good run out having been matched with recent British title challenger John Thain [16(1)-3(0)] in a no-decision exhibition bout.

Byrne plans to use this weekend’s workout to work on the things Geraghty has been teaching him and to get his first ever stoppage loss out of his system..

“This fight was made three days after the Fowler fight,” Byrne explained to Irish-Boxing.com before revealing that “I was going to retire after that fight and my team said no way and that I couldn’t retire all because I had a bad night at the office.”

“The loss wasn’t the issue to be honest it was the fact I froze and forgot all I learned in the 10 weeks with Declan. Then to be stopped due to that was a massive one for me to take.”

“I genuinely went over thinking the upset was on the cards as everything went perfect in the build up,” the ever honest Byrne continued.

The driven Loughlinstown fighter is giving everything ahead of the start of a new chapter in his career and outlined how “I travel to Scotland Friday morning to fight Friday night and I’m paying to do so as I want get some experience with Declan in my corner.”

“A new team takes time to gel and the level of fights I take doesn’t give much time for mistakes and that.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie