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“It’s time for him to step aside” – Paul Hyland Jr aiming to prove he is Ireland’s new #1

In a beautiful juxtaposition, Paul Hyland Jr [16(6)-0] showed up to the big press conference in Belfast last week in a perfectly tailored suit, but sporting a black eye.

“I was sparring that fecker Paddy Gal and he just caught me with one!” he laughed.

The Lagmore lightweight fights on the Matchroom bill in the city on Saturday October 21st, taking on Dubliner Stephen Ormond [24(13)-4(1)] at the SSE Odyssey Arena.

Here ‘Hylo’ will defend his IBF European title and the vacant Irish title will also be on the line.

Known for his fan-friendly style and his tendency to be involved in wars – Hyland has often in the past tried to get away from this tag, reminding onlookers that he has solid skills and amateur background.

However, this time round, the Commonwealth Youth bronze medalist has abandoned all pretences and admits that October 21st is going to be an all-out war.

Hyland explained to Irish-Boxing.com that “I’ve got the ability to box if I want to box but, once I get hit, I know the two of us are going to go head-to-head in there. We’ve a similar style. He’s a very aggressive fighter, he comes forward, he’s strong. ”

“I will try box, but it’s like every other previous fight, once I get clipped the two of us will go at it. I don’t really like getting pushed back, as you can tell from previous fights.”

The Ulsterman is extremely familiar with his experienced foe, and believes now is the time for him to take over as Ireland’s number one fighter.

Hyland outlined how “I’ve watched him, I always rated him, I always praised him, and he’s an Irishman so I always backed him. Now I’ve got my chance to fight him, he’s a big name and hopefully I can get the name on my record and stay undefeated.”

“He’s a tough opponent, he’s going to come to fight. He’s been around for a bit, I’m coming up through the rankings and I think it’s time for him to step aside – but I know that he’s not going to go out easy.”

“I know it’s going to be a tough fight and I’m looking forward to it.”

And what better way to decide the top lightweight on the island than with an Irish title fight.

Hyland has wanted the chance to fight for the green belt for years, and recently saw a fight with Galway’s Gearoid Clancy fall through.

The 27 year old detailed how “I’ve been asking in a load of previous fights to fight for the Irish title. It’s always fallen through for whatever reason, I don’t know.”

“I’ve had three possible opponents, who were the only available opponents at the time, and they never granted it. Now you’ve the two top lightweights in Ireland going head-to-head.”

“I want to be a fighter who holds multiple titles, I want to hold Irish titles, British titles, Commonwealth titles, and hopefully even get a shot at a world title some day.”

The Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov undercard also features Tyrone McKenna v Tommy Coyle, James Tennyson v Darren Traynor, Feargal McCrory, Jay Byrne, and Josh Kelly, with more still to be announced.

Tickets for the night cost £30, £40, £60, £100, £150 (VIP), and are available from the boxers involved or through HERE

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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