This time last year Jay Byrne [4(1)-2(0)] was a relative unknown on the pro boxing circuit.
The former Intermediate level amateur and semi-pro stalwart had yet to punch for pay and wasn’t even on the turnover radar.
Fast forward 12 months and the 30 year old has forged quite the name for himself domestically. The aptly named, self managed ‘Negotiator’ is one of the more busy pros on the circuit, has fought six times since June of last year and has featured twice in high-profile, Matchroom-promoted, Sky Sports-broadcast fights.
Indeed a busy summer awaits the St Joseph’s Boys football manager with talk of domestic title fights set for the Autumn.
It hasn’t been a cliched or typical first year for the Eddie Hyland and Tommy McCormack-trained fighter, but Byrne isn’t your average novice.
The Loughlinstown native does things differently, and continues to surprise as time passes.
Recently the fighter has become a manager to three fellow punchers and has made steps to setting up an all-purpose base that he believes will benefit Dublin boxing.
Byrne, who has run two successful semi-pro fight nights, has signed up former Australian Prospect of the Year Jake Hanney [5(4)-1(1)] alongside Karl Kelly and Dominican Dub Manny Bique – products of his semi-pro venture.
The 30 year old believes he has a somewhat unique one stop shop system that will help them reach their potential.
“I’ve always been into management regarding football and running things like the boxing club, events and all that. My management skills are good and I know how to do things right,” he told Irish-Boxing.com when asked about the new venture before explaining the set up.
“The gym is going to facilitate all the fighters’ needs,” he continued.
“Cardio and fitness work will be done via our altitude chambers, all our strength and conditioning will be done by our conditioning coach Stephen Carton, who will look after all the lads conditioning.”
“The boxing will be looked after by 2-3 pro coaches who are currently active with pros and will be working alongside each other to make this a success. I will hopefully have a meal company on board to look after the lads dietary needs and making sure that end of things is looked after.”
“I have a full promotional team on board too. Shane Green Designs will look after the promotional side of things and make sure each fighter who signs with me is not just a typical pro boxer running a round trying to get themselves noticed. There will be method behind raising their profile.”
“My team’s job to make each individual into their very own brand and become a self marketer.”
Byrne was excited yet typically pragmatic when discussing the potential new stable.
“The three lads I have signed are the start of a possible 8-10 who I am in talks with and the plans for these lads all depends on age level and experience. We look at each boxer individually.
“Karl Kelly has a lot of learning to do and we will be working on him dropping to a lighter weight. He won’t be rushed, he is 20 years old so my job will be to get him active and watch him learn and progress.”
“As I said there is no rush, but trust me this kid will bring fireworks and he has a great heart and chin.”
“Jake showed me in his last fight what he can do when at it. He had a number of things happen in his camp and it was a disaster for him, so realistically I want Jake out soon for a quick four rounder to shake of the dust. Then we will go looking for people holding titles.
“Shortty [Stephen Carroll] is one and Tyrone [McKenna] in a rematch is another fight we can target for him. I personally think Jake has a lot to give and once he applies himself and let’s the team look after all the dealings and promotional work he can focus on his boxing. It’s only then will we see the best of Jake.”
In terms of Bique, who had looked set to go pro in 2015, Byrne noted how “this guy has massive potential and, after working with him on the semi-pro scene, I’ve seen that he has the attributes and professionalism to become a very good pro.”
Byrne claims he is in talks with more and expects to make further announcements in the near future.
The active fighter also stresses he is willing to give anyone a chance, but warns one chance is all you get.
“There are two other all-but-done deals and hopefully will be announced very soon. I am talking to a lot of lads over the past few months and let’s just say I will give anyone a chance.”
“Anyone we take on will get my respect from day one, but the first time they act the fool or show a lack of professionalism they’ll be moved out as I don’t do bad apples.”
The welterweight title hopeful has proven with running semi pro shows, running a gym, managing a football team, as well as the small matter of fighting, that he has circus-like juggling abilities.
There will be those who question whether or not a managing fighters and overseeing a pro gym will affect his own fight path – although they’d be ill-advised to raise it with the man himself!
“It will not affect me [as a fighter]. I am focused on my job at hand for the remainder of my career.”
“I will continue to do my thing. The lads will be training out of my place with the coaches and rest of my team.”
Byrne’s dreams don’t stop at fighting and managing. The current pro already has his sights set on joining the promotional ranks and is confident he can make a success of that too.
“Once I have the gym up and running I will start from the bottom and get promoting underway.
“Promoting is where I plan on been a real success and I hope to work alongside the other Dublin promoters rather than it being competition. I have massive respect for all the guys in the game and I am not here to make enemies. I am here to make boxing better in Ireland and Dublin.”