Overlooked Paul Hyland Jr aiming to end Ritson hype


Paul Hyland Jr [18(7)-0] believes he is the latest MHD fighter to be overlooked by a talented English foe and has promised that there will be another upset result on Saturday night.

The Belfast lightweight takes on British champion Lewis Ritson [15(9)-0] at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, live on Sky Sports, and is confident of springing a surprise.

A 7/1 underdog, Hyland takes confidence from the recent results of his stablemates as well as talk coming from Team Ritson.

The Geordie is looking to win the Lonsdale belt outright following knockout wins over Robbie Barrett, Joe Murray, and Scott Cardle over the past nine months – victories which have seen his standing in the sport explode.

Indeed, Ritson is being talked up as a potential foe for major names such as Luke Campbell, Tommy Coyle, and Anthony Crolla.

Asked if he feels he is being overlooked, Hyland said “I do indeed.”

“This is a title I’ve always wanted, since I turned pro. Now I’ve got my shot at it, I’ve Ritson standing in front of me, he’s a tough competitor but you can hype up a boxer as much as you want. At the end of the day, it’s just me and him in that ring.”

“This camp, this is the hardest I’ve trained and I just feel that it is my time and that I’m ready.”

“I’m confident I’ll have my hand raised at the end of it.”

Hyland’s title clash comes hot on the heels of big wins for stablemates Ronnie Clark and James Tennyson from the away corner. The Lagmore man’s sparring partners defeated Zelfa Barrett and Martin J Ward from the away corner and he takes confidence from these results.

“You’ll see that on Saturday, it gives me a bit more experience,” he noted.

“They’re training partners, I train hard with them and they’ve done it – now I’m going to do it.”

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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