The Byrne Redemption – Jay Byrne wants big finish after his ‘career was stolen’
Jay Byrne [9(2)-8(2)] is fighting for what he believes would be a form of boxing justice after having his ‘career stolen’ from him.
Byrne hasn’t fought since he suffered defeat to Ahmed Rossi in December of 2019, having been all but forced into retirement by out of the ring issues, which were outside of his control.
Even after the personal problems were resolved, at 36, it appeared as if the Loughlinstown fighter was going to leave them hung up.
However, a return to training lit a fire under him and the former BUI Celtic and BBBofC Celtic title holder returns on The Homecoming card in Waterford on April 8. In true ‘Negotiator,’ fashion he returns with a plan and goal but this time his motivation isn’t just trinkets and purses, Byrne has a burning desire to make up for the years he feels were unjustly taken from him.
Boxing had left a sour taste Byrne couldn’t shake, so he is going to have one more bite meaning he can call it a day with a refreshed palate at the very least.
“It feels brilliant to be back and to be back in the right frame of mind and with a goal,” he tells Irish-boxing.com.
“I had to do something for my health and weight so I started training with Pete[Taylor] in January and as the weeks went on I just had this feeling that my career was stolen from me. It left a sour taste in my mouth and I couldn’t have that play on my mind for the rest of my days,” he adds.
Some have suggested that the 36-year-old’s last two fights, points defeats in Manchester, were an indication the former Irish champion’s very unique career was done.
However, he doesn’t believe his most recent form should be taken into account.
“My last two fights took place during the worst period of my life. I was fighting when I was mentally and physically at my lowest and I lost both against fighters I would beat easy in my opinion.”
While it’s not now, the end is near, and Byrne knows it. The former Bray Wanderers footballer will have a warm-up in just under two weeks and three more fights max, one of which has to be an Irish title fight.
“I have a goal of returning and trying to get my Irish title, the belt that has been the ultimate goal since day one. Time is not on my side, I’ve turned 36, so I am hoping to have this warm-up fight and then go straight into domestic or international fights, I want three or four fights and then I will be calling time as I can’t keep going as getting older.”
Reflecting on how he got back into the swing of things and how camp for his comeback has gone Byrne added: “I have loved every minute of it, it has felt like a debut all over again.
“The whole change of style of boxing under Pete compared to what I am used to along with the level of lads I have been training alongside has just been great,” he continues before revealing he has had to put in serious effort to get fighting fit.
“Then how hard I have had to work …… I was 100kg at the turn of the year and hadn’t done anything fitness orientated in two years. I wasn’t fit enough to do one round of sparring, however, I have stuck to Pete’s plan, training and food, and everything is working perfectly. Today I sit at 83kg with my target weight for April 7th 78-79kg. I’d like to say this wouldn’t of been possible without the great support by my sponsors. Solutions in Inchicore, HJ Byrne Bray, Tek Eir, Centra Johnstown & Ballybrack, Metway UK, Easyfood, High Spec Tech Shankill and Rory Mulhall of NXTGEN Performance Centre.