Paul Hyland Jr [14(5)-0] will look to take his career to the next level on Friday night.
The Belfast lightweight has been brought in by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions to fight on the inaugural edition of the NXTGEN series at the York Hall in London.
The purpose of the new series of cards, which will be streamed live on Facebook with the main bouts being shown on Sky Sports, is to give Matchroom prospects an opportunity to box and develop in competitive fights which feature prominently on shows – rather than in non-televised undercard bouts on big shows.
Hyland, who is not (yet) promoted by Matchroom, will face former BBBoC Northern Area champion Peter Cope [14(0)-3(1)] on the big bill which also features Dubliner Jay Byrne.
While the spot on the card in Bethnal Greene was only announced three weeks ago, Hyland comes into the fight sharp, having undergone a long camp for his quick-fire one-minute win over Giovanni Gallovich last month in Belfast.
The Lagmore man recalled to Irish-Boxing.com how “Mark [Dunlop, manager] told me after my last fight, which was meant to be a ten-rounder but was stopped early, to keep training and that he’d have me out in the next month, so I knew something was coming up.”
His Hartlepool opponent will be the best opponent Hyland has faced in his career thus far, and the Ulsterman is hoping to use his skills to cope with Cope.
Hyland noted how “I watched a wee bit of him, he’s a decent, good boxer. He comes forward and he’ll be there to win. His record is similar to me, his losses were against other good boxers for titles. Everyone’s being saying it’s a great match-up and a tough fight.”
“I’m working a lot in the gym on my boxing, I know this guy comes forward so I’ve been sparring the likes of wee Caoimhin Ferguson who’s sort of similar to this guy.”
Hyland’s appearance on the Matchroom bill, as a home fighter, certainly raises interesting questions. Is it a trial run-out with a potential for further link ups with Hearn? It certainly would make sense should Matchroom finally return to Belfast with Ryan Burnett.
Hylo is not sure himself, and admitted that “I don’t really know [if an impressive performance could secure him a relationship with Matchroom going forward].”
“I do know that Scott Cardle has his third defence of his British title and Mark told me that we offered to take that fight but they [Team Cardle] didn’t go for that fight, they’re going to go for someone else.”
“I don’t know if Eddie wants to test to see what I look like, hopefully he is. I’m thankful for the opportunity and hopefully I do get something out of it.”
Jamie Conlan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill for Episode 3 of The Irish Boxing Show: