Old school Willo Hayden happy to learn on the job

Willo Hayden [1-0] is ready to go back to school on Saturday night.

The Dublin teen fights for a second time as a pro on a BT Sports broadcast show at the Utilita Arena, Birmingham.

The Crumlin BC graduate isn’t expected to get TV but the size of the show does provide him with a platform to impress, although catching the eye isn’t the priority for the former underage standout.

Hayden, who won 13 Irish across the grades and age groups, plans to use only his second ever adult fight, amateur or pro, as an experience builder and learning curve.

“I’m obviously predicting a win but I’m not going out there looking for stoppages,” the heavy-handed and physically imposing Hayden told Irish-boxing.com.

“I’m in there to learn and gain experience and I know I have it in the tank to win every round.”

Having fought distance expert Dean Jones over six on his debut Hayden takes on another survival specialist in Lee Connelly [7-63(8)-6] this weekend.

The Phil Sutcliffe trained prospect competes over six again on a Queensbury show that includes a fight for Dylan Moran and reveals a more common four-round early doors approach was never an option.

“I was never not going to do six rounds. I knew I’d be fit enough and all my coaches know me well enough to have thought the same. It was just a no-brainer, why do four rounders when I’m confident I can do six with no problems.”

It’s the 19-year-old’s second fight in three months and he is more than happy that Queensbury are looking to keep him busy.

“I couldn’t be happier to be out again so soon. I enjoy nothing more than being in the ring and I know what to expect this time round thanks to the experience of my first pro fight,” he adds before revealing he will just rely on his ability to get him another win.

“I haven’t got any game plan really. Just going to go out and do what comes naturally to me. I have all the right tools there.”

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