Pure joy replaced the pre-fight nerves Tommy Hyde [1(1)-0] is more accustomed to in the moments before his pro debut.
The Rebel county favourite got his professional career off to a successful start when he accounted for Jiri Korda at the District in Sioux Falls earlier this month.
The win and indeed the fight were extra special for the light heavyweight prospect because at one stage this year it looked like his pro career was taken away from him before it even started.
In April, and just days out from a proposed Cork debut, Hyde was told he would never box again and he recalled just how that moment felt moments before his first-ever pro ring walk in America on December 2.
Reflecting on how low he felt at that point meant the usual pre-bout fight nerves were gone as happiness took the emotion pole position before his paid bow.
“It was brilliant,” he tells Irish-boxing.com.
“You would have the usual thoughts before a fight but I was just reminding myself that I was told I wouldn’t be doing this again, so I’d say it was the happiest I ever was before a fight.
“I was just delighted to be getting the show on the road.”
The show is on the road and the opening act certainly caught the attention and has people gripped to see what happens next.
“I thought I performed well and got great experience to start off my career,” comments the Rebel County fighter.
“My opponent was a tough guy he gave it a great go and it was good for the crowd. I rushed it a bit after dropping him twice and it was a good lesson before finishing him in the third,” he adds before revealing he already noticed an increase in already sizable support since he punched for pay for the first time.
“The reaction I got was unreal, I’ve always got great support but it’s going to a new level now. It was a great buzz walking into our bar in Cork when I got home, they made me feel like a star.”
The Hector Bermudez trained fighter saw a fight in Dubai cancelled at late notice last weekend but starts 2023 early after confirming a January fight date.
The fight on a card promoted by former amateur rival Thomas O’Toole’s team in Boston will be the first of many in what will be an exciting and busy year if things go to plan.
“Next year is going to be a very busy year. 2022 has been an absolute rollercoaster but 2023 is going to be a good one and I’m looking forward to fighting both at home and abroad.”