Paul Hyland Jr in talks for MAJOR title challenge


Paul Hyland Jr is OFF the big MHD Promotions card in Belfast next month but it looks like the Lagmore lightweight could have a much, much bigger fight in the pipeline.

The European Boxing Union have confirmed that Hyland is in negotiations with European champion Francesco Patera [21(7)-3(0)] for a voluntary defence for the Belgium-based Italian.

In their latest update, the Rome-based body decreed that Patera’s mandatory challenger is former IBF featherweight king Lee Selby but that he is entitled to a voluntary defence – and is in talks with the currently unranked* Hyland [20(7)-1(1)].

‘Hylo’ was due to box game Sunderland away fighter Jordan Ellison over six rounds on the ‘Summer Brawl’ show at the Europa Hotel on Saturday May 18th but promoter Mark Dunlop announced yesterday that the 28-year-old was off the bill.

Dunlop simply said that “Unfortunately I have had to withdraw Hylo from the Summer Brawl at the Europa Hotel of Saturday 18th May.”

“News on Paul Hyland Jnr’s next fight date will hopefully be soon.”

The EBU list Belgian promoter GMG as the party in negotiation for the fight – although, considering Patera’s Italian background and both boxers’ links to Matchroom, the fight would certainly fit one of Eddie Hearn’s shows in Italy in association with Opi Since 82.

Patera is looking to make the second defence of his title since his sensational upset win over Lewis Ritson last October. While the Genk-based boxer was a former champion having traded wins with Edis Tali in 2017, few gave him a chance against the fearsome Geordie who had knocked Hyland out in one round in his previous bout.

However, Patera weathered an early storm and outboxed a drained Ritson down the stretch to claim a deserved win and the vacant title – which he defended last month versus Frenchman Marvin Petit.

After losing to Ritson, Hyland bounced back with a win over Mexican journeyman Giovanni Martinez and would then climb off the canvas to outpoint strong Czech light welter champ Miroslav Serban at the Ulster Hall in February.

The 28-year-old has outlined his desire to get a second shot at the British title, currently held by Welsh wizard Joe Cordina along with the Commonwealth strap, but it now seems that the entertaining Belfast boxer could fight for an even bigger belt.

More news as it develops…

The ‘Summer Brawl’ bill next month still features James Tennyson, Tommy McCarthy, Feargal McCrory, Victor Rabei, and Cathy McAleer.

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

*Hyland’s lack of a ranking is due to his temporary ineligibility for the European title having previously held the lightly-regarded IBF European belt. It is assumed that he will re-enter the rankings in the near future.

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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