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Jay Byrne reverses retirement – announces Celtic title defence

Nobody really believed that Jay Byrne [8(2)-6(2)] had retired for good and the Dubliner has this morning announced his return to the game.

‘The Negotiator’ scored a major win over Marc Kerr in Glasgow back in November to claim the BBBoC Celtic light middleweight title and would describe the upset as the perfect way to finish a career.

However, Byrne would leave a qualifier in, noting how he would return to the ring should he get an Irish title opportunity or an especially lucrative offer.

It seems that the latter has occurred with the Loughlinstown fighter confirming that he will defend his belt in Scotland in March.

Byrne has revealed that he will put the title on the line on Saturday March 2nd at Trump Turnberry where he will face Scottish champion Stefan Sanderson [5(1)-0].

The Scottish southpaw won his national title in September, dropping and defeating Paul Kean – who had beaten Jay Byrne in a BUI Celtic title fight previously.

The 29-year-old puts this belt on the line next weekend against veteran Craig Kelly and, assuming he comes through, will face Byrne.

The match-up had featured on last week’s BBBoC circular for a show in Glasgow on April 6th. Byrne would explain that he had provisionally accepted the fight before he walked away and, while April 6th was not possible due to prior commitments, he was willing to listen to offers from Sanderson’s manager, Sam Kynoch.

Following the win over Kerr, Byrne had been focusing on duties outside the ring – he has assumed the chief trainer role for Karl Kelly ahead of the Irish lightweight title fight with Feargal McCrory on February 9th while, as manager, he secured Lynn Harvey a European strawweight title fight with Catalina Diaz on February 27th.

Irish-Boxing.com will have an interview with Byrne explaining his situation in the coming days.


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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