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Patrick Hyland: I’d have no problem going into the Lion’s den to face Warrington

Dublin featherweight contender Patrick Hyland would happily travel to fight Matchroom starlet Josh Warrington in Elland Road. In fact – the avid Manchester United support would wear his Red Devils jersey into the home of rivals Leeds United.

Speaking exclusively to irish-boxing.com, ‘The Punisher’ gave his thoughts on Matchroom’s featherweight duo, Warrington [22(4)-0] and IBF champion Lee Selby [21(8)-1(0)].

Warrington defended his Commonwealth title against Aussie Joel Brunker at the weekend, however Hyland was not impressed, believing both fighters to be “nothing special.”

The Dubliner admitted that Warrington did show improvements on the night and that he can “box a little bit.” Nevertheless, Hyland noted that the Yorkshire man once again exhibited “little skill, or punch power,” and that Brunker was a poor opponent who just “plodded forward showing no head-movement, no intelligence, and was entirely one-dimensional.”

Indeed, Hyland was close to fighting Warrington last year. Matchroom head honcho Eddie Hearn had promised the winner of Hyland and John Simpson a shot at the Leeds youngster for the European Title. However, Simpson would drop out of his fight with ‘The Punisher’ and Hearn & co. would elect to take a different route.

Hyland is of the opinion that Lee Selby is levels above the Englishman, calling the Welsh Wizard “a class act.” Selby defends his title for the first time next month in Arizona against former three weight world champion Fernando Montiel. Hyland acknowledges that 36 year old Montiel is not the stiffest of tests, and is merely a “nice voluntary – a blown up bantamweight.”

If Hyland were to face the Welshman, he believes that he has the style to upset the champion, as he would “put pressure on him and get him out of his rhythm.”

If rumour is to believed, Hearn and Matchroom are looking to pit Warrington and Selby together in a stadium bout next year in Elland Road – looking to exploit the immensely popular Leeds fighter’s vociferous home support.

Hyland is diplomatic in his appraisal of this potential fight, admitting that “I think Selby wins, but with the crowd in Warrington’s favour I think they could have a twelfth man effect so to speak.”

However, Hyland doubts the feasibility of a fight between the pair, noting how Selby has signed with Al Haymon and will be appearing stateside on Premier Boxing Champions cards.

Indeed, if a Selby fight does not materialise, ‘The Punisher’ is more than happy to step into the hostile atmosphere, declaring that a partisan crowd “does not bother me one bit.”

A massive supporter of Manchester United, Hyland also promised that he would wear the red jersey into the ring at the home of one of their biggest rivals. The Dub joked that “I’d probably be killed by his fans for wearing a Man United jersey and then beating the sh*t out of their guy!”

Although there was no joking from Hyland when he concluded, with the greatest of confidence, that “I know that I’d beat him.”

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