Jay Byrne – “I felt more comfortable as the fight went on”

Jay Byrne [4(1)-0] was faced with a tough test on Saturday night, but ‘The Negotiator’ negotiated his first six rounder and an opponent that came to win.

The Dublin welterweight outpointed (58:57) game Spaniard Sergio Abad on the Red Corner Promotions ‘Unfinished Business’ bill at the National Stadium in a competitive and entertaining contest where a strong middle few rounds secured him a hard fought-win.

Looking back at the fight afterwards, Byrne told Irish-Boxing.com that “I thought the first round was very close, he could have got it. I thought second, third, fourth I controlled fairly handily. Fifth was more of the same, then in the sixth the lads said to me ‘don’t even box him, stay away from him, throw out your jab, make him think.’

“I think I was a complete professional, I felt more comfortable as the fight went on, I was making him miss a lot more.”

“He was aggressive, and he didn’t stop coming forward. He has a bit of a ping on him alright, he caught me in the first round with a bodyshot on the ropes and I felt it. I wasn’t worried or in danger, but when I felt it I thought ‘right, keep an eye on that.’ My chin is going out in the air, that’s starting to creep in, I’ll have to work on that.”

“There were times in that fight, earlier in the rounds, where I thought I could have finished him. Once over in the corner I thought I had him, but the lads told me to go for a walk.”

The scorecard was close, but Byrne felt that he won the fight by a wider margin than the 58:57 tally suggested. He noted how “I genuinely thought I won it by two, three rounds easy, and when I heard the scorecard 58:57 I thought there was something going on. But sure ten fights down the road nobody’s going to remember that [scoreline].”

“I genuinely thought I was comfortable, and I thought, the more the rounds went on, I was enjoying it more The last fight in Belfast was a tougher fight [v Sandor Jozsa], even Liam Griffiths was a tougher fight I thought.”

It was a relatively early step up in terms of roundage for the 30 year old, and he was delighted to get some experience at the longer distance.

“It was my first six rounder,” outlined Byrne. “I thought the fitness levels were great for five. I thought the sixth round I was doing too much on my fight, but I was probably listening too much to the lads about staying away from him, I had to go on the run a bit and, after boxing for five rounds for the first time, the legs did get tired a bit.”

“Six rounds was great, six rounds will stand to me. I’ll be looking to go again at six, then up to the eight rounds.”

Loughlinstown’s Byrne has a fight date tentatively scheduled for less than five weeks from now, back at the National Stadium, but he also suggested that he has some big news in the pipeline.

“Frank Stacey’s been talking about April 1st, but we may have something big in the next three weeks, we’re in talks. If that happens, it will be very big,” teased Byrne.

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography

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