Byrne has domestic rivals on his radar after “difficult” win over awkward Griffiths

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Jay Byrne moved to 2(1)-0 in Belfast last night with a win over awkward journeyman Liam Griffiths at the Europa Hotel.

A tough, at times messy, fight, Byrne won 40:36 on the scorecards to open the MHD Promotions ‘Another Level’ show. While he wasn’t ecstatic with his performance, the Dubliner acknowledged that it was the kind of fight he needed at this stage in his career.

The Loughlinstown puncher spoke to Irish-Boxing.com following the victory, and summed up the contest as being “difficult.”

“I never thought I was losing the fight, but it was very hard to get going, so hard to get going.”

“Even when you land a good shot, and I landed a couple of good shots and thought he was gone, he’d just bounce back and would be holding onto your waist or grabbing you behind the head.”

“I let my own discipline go as well and I grabbed him a couple of times, I shouldn’t have but it is what it is.”

Byrne wasn’t too down about his performance, and noted how the bout was above his natural weight following an already-booked mid-camp holiday and the muscle-building effects of pre-season football training with Enniskerry YC.

“A win’s a win and it was on the road. As I’ve said, I was away until Tuesday night, so I’ll take a win, it’s good enough,” Byrne explained

“I felt alright, I did tire a bit, it’s very hard in a small ring with a naturally bigger fella. I’m a 66.5kg [welterweight] fighter and the both of us hit the scales at 74kg [in between middle and super middle]. I could feel the difference when he was leaning on me but, to be fair, I felt stronger than him, I felt when we were grabbing and pulling around that I was in control, it was just getting rid of his arms that was the problem.”

The 30 year old fighter knew he was in for an awkward night with the Bognor Regis journeyman and described how “he’s a tough fella to be fair. I’d done my homework just asking about him, I didn’t watch much of him, I leave that to the coaches, but funnily enough a fella in England I used to go over to for semi pro fights knew him and he told me ‘Jay, you’re not going to look what you look like usually in this fight, it’s going to be a tricky one.'”

“I’ve got to realise that he’s been in the ring seventy times, I haven’t even had that many amateur fights, let alone pro.”

“He said I was very tough and that he though he was gone in the third round, that he fumbled for a minute.”

“But look, it’s boxing, I needed four rounds. I’m going to fight one more four rounder and then I’m going to six.”

Byrne certainly isn’t looking to hang around, and feels he will be ready for domestic clashes in the New Year. He revealed how “I shouldn’t probably say it, but I’ve a couple of fellas on my radar that I want to have a look at and I’d say after Christmas I’ll be good to go.”

“I don’t want to go down that road [calling people out] but let’s just say there’s a few lads who think they’re a lot better than they are.”

Photo Credit: Chris Scott – AMMG Media

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