Jay Byrne [9(2)-6(2)] makes an out of the blue return to the week as early as September 21.
The Bray fighter has been drafted in to partake in the VIP Contender Series and will fight for the first time since successfully defending his British Boxing Board of Control Celtic title in Scotland in March of this year.
Indeed, ‘The Negotiator’ steps in as a replacement for Marc Kerr, the man he beat to claim the BBBofC light middleweight Celtic title last November.
The Gym owner, who has managed fighters in the past, has been handed the opportunity to compete in the four man tournament with a ‘cash prize’ for the winner.
The tournament set up to commemorate trainer Phil Martin starts at a black tie event in Manchester on the 21st of this month.
To win it outright Byrne will have to handle the move up to middleweight and over come the likes of John Telford, Kyle Lomotey and Ben Douglas.
Which of the three he will face come semi-final time remains to be seen as the draw will be done on the same day as the September 20th weigh in.
Considering the 32-year-old has campaigned the majority of his career between welterweight and light middle the step up to middle will would mean he enters the contest as a underdog, that status would also be enhanced by the fact he enters as a late replacement.
However, the fighter with a unique approach to the pro game has stepped up in levels before – unsuccessfully attempting to derail a number of Matchroom prospects – and his three potential opponents won’t instill any fear as a result.
Indeed, Douglas is a two fight novice, Telford has been beaten by a journey man and lost when he stepped up in level for a Southern Area title and while Lomotey hasn’t been beaten he doesn’t boast the kind of wins Byrne has on his record.