Jay Byrne reveals his preferred Irish title fight as offers roll in


Jay Byrne [8(2)-6(2)] is a man in demand but reaffirms that he is staying true to his promise to retire – for now.

The 32-year-old claims he has had four fight offers and a promotional contract put on the table since his brilliant British Boxing Board of Control Celtic light middleweight title victory over Marc Kerr in Scotland on Friday night.

However, the boxing manager and business owner, who claimed before Friday that his fifth title fight would be his last, is in no hurry to accept any stating he will spend time with his family over the Christmas.

There are a number of scenarios that may see the Loughlinstown native tempted back and you always get the feeling the competitive edge will return after a break but, for now, Byrne is retired and walks away from the game a proud man.

“I have had four title fight offers between Saturday and Sunday and a nice promotional signing offer so that is absolutely brilliant as I must have done something right, but, as it stands, I’m spending time with my three girls and I have a nice holiday arranged for mid December and then Christmas,” Byrne told Irish-Boxing,com.

“The plan is and was to retire unless something got offered that really tempted me. A nice paying fight for a title that interests me like the famous green belt or a defence of my new BBBoC [Celtic] title, who knows? But, I’m retired as is. ”

“I don’t rely on boxing for money so it needs to be an offer that I can say ‘yeah, you know, what I’ll do that as I feel I can win and it’ll pay for a little Disneyland holiday for the girls’ or something like that.”

While winning any title would have proved a bonus for Byrne when turning over – since claiming the BUI Celtic welterweight title with victory over Gerrard Whitehouse last year, he has been Irish title keen.

The boxing manager did fight Craig O’Brien for the Irish light middleweight belt on March, but a shot back down at welterweight could be the thing to get him back in the ring.

The Declan Geraghty-trained fighter claims he had been in talks with a host of eager welters over the last 12 months and now thinks a fight between himself and John Joyce would prove ideal for the strap – leaving room for the winner to make a defence against the likes of Keane McMahon and Dylan Moran.

At present, Moran is the only of the these trio to be eligible for the belt but Joyce and McMahon, who is especially keen to fight for the title, are expected to fulfill their requirement of fighting in a scheduled eight-rounder soon.

Byrne has been frustrated by the amount of talk but lack of fights amongst the Irish welter.

“Regards the welterweight scene and the Irish title, I have discussed with all parties at some point this year and nothing happened,” he explained, suggesting that none of the four offers he has received so far have been for all-Irish fights..

“These are young lads and I personally think myself vs John Joyce would be a good one as both are similar age and we’ve had an exhibition before. We both have families and that and work alongside our boxing.”

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“Then maybe Keane and Dylan could fight for the Celtic title to face the winner or something along those lines.”

Moran boxes this Friday on the ‘Homecoming’ show in Mayo, McMahon was in action last month, and Joyce hopes to be out before Christmas before a potential fight with Cork light welter Noely Murphy in New York in the new year.

Murphy, who lost last time out for the WBC USA 140lbs belt and is a previous holder of the BUI Celtic title up at welter, himself returns this Friday night in Queens and was another target for Byrne.

“I have spoken to Noel Murphy and he’s team are keeping him in America. They have his path mapped otherwise myself and Noel could of got it sorted as #1 and #2 of the division [with Boxing Union of Ireland].”

“As I said the green belt or something that makes my head turn or I’ll be happy to walk away a proud man.”

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com