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Lessons Learned for title-targeting Paul Hyland Jr

Paul Hyland Jr [20(7)-1(1)] was given a real scare on Saturday night but, as the fists flew, the Lagmore lightweight showed some real development.

Eight months on from his first round knockout British title defeat to Lewis Ritson, Hyland found himself on the canvas again at the Ulster Hall.

Five rounds into his clash with Czech light welter champion Miroslav Serban, Hyland was dropped heavily but was able to rise and outbox his physically larger foe to claim a 78-74 win at the famous Belfast venue.

Afterwards Hyland recalled afterwards how “my dad was shouting at me to hold on and in the Ritson fight, I charged in and fought him at his game.”

“I probably would have done the same there, but I was told to hold on this time and that gave me a few extra seconds of recovery and I could get back to my boxing.”

“I did trade a few and that was me showing that I wasn’t hurt, but I caught myself on and held,” he added before further analysing the fight.

“I was dropping the hand to try and catch him on the way in, but he was so solid he was like a brick wall.”

“I was trying to get him to lower his guard so I could hit him with the jab. I went to feint and he just caught me over the top. It was a flash knockdown and I bounced back up, but I just held on for the rest of the round to clear my head.”

“That [knockdown] gave him a bit of confidence as I had been controlling it. He piled on the pressure, but just held on a bit. I tried to out-box him, but he was strong and you could see that in his physique.”

“When I saw him shaking the hands, I knew he was tiring so I was trying to hit him out the arms and catch him around the head, but he was walking through them.”

A proper hard eight rounds under his belt, Hyland is keen to progress towards titles.

Ritson defends the British belt versus Andy Townend last month while Joe Cordina holds the Commonwealth crown.

Before the big domestic titles, 28-year-old Hyland has his eye on some rankings titles – such as the WBO European crown held by Craig Evans or his old IBF belt which is now in the possession of Robbie Barrett.

“I want to fight for titles and want that British title,” he stated.

“It’s a dream I want to achieve. If not that, then there is the Commonwealth title or European titles like the one I had [IBF].”

“I was stripped of that because I didn’t defend it against Ritson as he wouldn’t have made the next-day weigh-in so I would like to get that back, or even look at a WBO European title.”


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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