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Paul Hyland Jr batters Birmingham to ensure British title shot

Paul Hyland Jr prepared for his British title shot with a hugely entertaining stoppage win in Belfast tonight.

The Lagmore lightweight is the mandatory challenger for the Lonsdale belt currently held by Lewis Ritson and is scheduled to face the Geordie in Newcastle on June 16th.

However, Hyland had to first negotiate the challenge of David Birmingham at the Europa Hotel – and he duly obliged with a fourth-round stoppage.

Headliner tonight, the ‘Collision’ bill was one which almost didn’t happen. Hyland’s initial opponent, Floyd Moore, was forced to pull out early last week. The two-time Southern Area champion was forced to retire from the sport but is expected to make a full recovery.

Portsmouth’s David Birmingham, a challenger for the Southern Area belt last year, rolled the dice and stepped in on short notice and put in a massive performance – but was no match for the unbeaten home fighter.

From the opening bell the pair went to war and Hyland quickly got on top, lashing in long left hooks and big overhands right hurting Birmingham. The Englishman almost went down but hung on and saw the end of the round.

Birmingham came back admirably in the second, landing his fair share but was being lit up by flurries from Hyland, one short right hook in particular almost taking his opponent’s head off.

Hyland took a more considered approach in the third, looking to time Birmingham with big rights before upping the pace in the final minute, forcing his foe to the ropes and unloading.

The end came in the fourth, with Hyland hurting Birmingham to the body. The Pompey puncher retreated to the corner as Hyland looked to take the finish – at one stage looking at the referee to stop the contest – before Birmingham’s corner threw in the towel.

A bloodied Birmingham was distraught but, by that stage, he had taken enough punishment and was saved from his own bravery.

The win sees Hyland improve his perfect professional record to 18(7)-0 while the game but outgunned Birmingham drops to 6(3)-2(2)

Hyland will now go straight into preparations for his clash with Ritson – who will be looking to retain the belt he won versus Robbie Barrett outright having defended the strap twice already with early stoppages of Joe Murray and Scott Cardle.

Earlier in the night, Dublin welter Jay Byrne got back to winning ways following his Irish light middleweight title loss to Craig O’Brien last month, scoring a four-round victory over Belfast hardman Jamesy Gorman. Also returning from a loss last month, Cork super middle Vladimir Belujsky stopped Iain Bailey in the first round, dropping the English journeyman twice and forcing the towel to be thrown in.

Photo Credit: Chris Scott – AMMG Media


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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