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Jay Byrne left unimpressed by bad attitude Anthony Fowler

Following two game performances against top Matchroom prospects, Dubliner Jay Byrne [5(1)-2(0)] has been handed a home slot on a big Sky Sports card.

‘The Negotiator’ is set to fight on the Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov undercard at the SSE Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Saturday October 21st.

There is a potential stumbling block though – Byrne must get through a light middleweight six-rounder with Rio Olympian Anthony Fowler [2(2)-0] three weeks beforehand unscathed.

The Loughlinstown fighter, who had been due to fight Fowler in Newcastle in June before a hand injury ruled him out, is doing his best to block out the thoughts of a fight on home soil, knowing that a lack of focus could see this dream easily scuppered.

Byrne explained to Irish-Boxing.com that “the focus is on Fowler. I could go into the Fowler fight thinking about this [Belfast] fight and be hurt and, if by some stretch of the imagination I get stopped, this fight’s off.”

“There’s no point thinking about this fight, this fight doesn’t happen if I don’t do the business against Fowler.”

“We’re going to fight, we’re going to beat him. We wont be going in cautious, we’ll be going in fighting.”

The 30 year old is feeling more confident ahead of this fight than when he faced Felix Cash and Josh Kelly in the Spring. Byrne described how “the tactics have changed for this fight.”

“We’ve changed a few things in camp and there’ll be a big difference. We’ve seen the difference in sparring straight away.”

“There’ll be a difference on the night. Everything’s going well and everything’s a lot more professional this time.”

Byrne also takes confidence from what he’s seen of his opponent for the Echo Arena-hosted clash on Saturday September 30th.

“I don’t see Fowler as being any better than the other two [Cash and Kelly],” Byrne states.

“I know he hits hard, he has this ‘power,’ but they said the same about the others and they didn’t faze me.”

“I don’t think he’s technically great. He had a fantastic amateur career but I don’t think the start of his pro career has looked great.”

“He loses the head, he boils up. You could see it in his first fight, he caught a fella with a punch on the way to the floor, he should have been disqualified and it should have been a loss. I think everybody watching that fight called it a loss.”

“I don’t think the British public are buying into him, because of his attitude. Everything is knockout, knockout, knockout, he thinks he’s going to knock everybody out.”

“The lads he’s fought, they didn’t come to fight. They came to get paid and run. We’ll see how gets on with me, we’ll see if he has that so-called knockout power come September 30th.”

gym trition

frayne carpentry

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