Paul Hyland Jr fully focused following “crazy few weeks”


It’s all about Birmingham on Saturday night rather than Newcastle on June 16th for Paul Hyland Jr.

The British Boxing Board of Control yesterday confirmed the Belfast lightweight would challenge Lewis Ritson for the British title a Sky Sports-broadcast show at the Newcastle Metro Arena in two month’s time.

The ‘earned the hard way’ opportunity and breakthrough chance has been more than welcomed by MHD-managed fighter but Hyland promises he isn’t looking beyond tomorrow night’s ‘Collision’ headliner.

‘Hylo’ faces David Birmingham [6(3)-1(1)] at the Europa Hotel after the Portsmouth puncher stepped in to replace the injured and subsequently retired Floyd Moore.

With so much at stake, Lagmore’s Hyland knows he needs to get the job done and ensure he fights for the Lonsdale belt on the big Matchroom card.

“It is great to be fighting Ritson for the British title,” he told the Belfast Newsletter before stressing that the dream fight is not secure yet.

“These are the fights I have been looking for. But first of all, I have to do the business against Birmingham. It is a new opponent but my focus remains the same,” he added.

Keeping focus may have proved difficult for the entertaining ticket-seller over the last few weeks, with uncertainty over whether a British title fight would be forthcoming. Indeed there was a feeling that Ritson may avoid taking Hyland in favour of a unification with the winner of Sean Dodd’s Commonwealth title defence versus Tommy Coyle.

That’s not to mention the unfortunate withdrawal of Moore.

27-year-old Hyland [17(6)-0] admitted that “this has been a crazy few weeks for me.”

“But I am a professional and have kept my mind on the job in hand.”

“I am absolutely gutted for Moore, I know how much this opportunity meant to him but with time he will have a full recovery with many great memories from the sport.”

A compact dinner show, Hyland headlines in a ten-rounder with undercard support from Vladimir Belujsky and Jay Byrne as well live entertainment.

With initial opponent Moore retiring less than two weeks ago due to a head injury, the status of the show was in grave doubt.

However, former Southern Area title challenger Birmingham has stepped in and event promoter Mark Dunlop stated that “the news about Floyd Moore has been devastating for all concerned.”

“I would like to thank Paul McLean and Eddie Hearn who have stepped in to save the show, but a special mention must be for David Birmingham who has risen to the short notice.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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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