The 28 year old is ready to challenge for bigger titles, which may entail him relinquishing his Irish title won five months ago with a knockout of Terry Maughan. While the Belfast-raised 154lber would have liked to have defended the green belt, his plans for progression and lack of viable opponents means he is now considering vacating the belt – and clearing a path for MGM stablemate John Hutchinson.
That is not to say that he views the Irish title as merely a stepping stone. His title win was a special night for Upton, who fought through an injured ankle to stop Maughan and fulfill a lifelong dream in honour of his grandfather Liam.
Upton spoke to Irish-Boxing about the Irish title and admitted that, while it “was a dream come true to win the Irish title,” there are “not many lads at the weight, and none I would get up for fighting.”
“I’m not trying to be disrespectful, it’s just the truth.”
“I wanted to defend it, but it probably won’t happen.”
“Dennis Hogan is beyond Irish title level now, and the lads at the weight that are class names are up-and-coming and have not had enough rounds to be eligible for a title fight.”
The eldest of the three Upton brothers outlined how “I’d like to push on now. I think I’ve served my apprenticeship in the pros by fighting well-known journeymen and winning a title against a game fighter like Terry Maughan.”
Pauly, along with Sonny and Anto, has recently parted company with trainer Ricky Hatton and plans to announce a new trainer in the near future. He hopes to move very quickly into big fights and described how “I’ve moved camp now and will need to have a fight with the new trainer in the corner before pushing on – but I’m willing to fight for any title and would love a crack at European, or WBO European, or even an Inter-Continental title.”
Upton is confident he can make an impact at European level and explained that “my former team mate Sergey Rabchenko beat the current European champ [Cedric Vitu], and he told me that I would beat the guy too which gave me a boost.”
“I know when the tests get harder I’ll be a better fighter and I look forward to proving it.”