Performance paramount for returning Jay Byrne
‘Back to winning ways’ – the phrase you hear non stop before and after a bout which follows a defeat in the ring.
Promoters, managers, trainers, and indeed the fighters themselves tell us it’s all about getting that winning feeling again, putting defeat in the rearview mirror and adding another green W to your Boxrec record by any means possible.
However, as usual, Dublin welterweight Jay Byrne has veered away from the boxing script somewhat and claimed his comeback fight is all about performance.
Victory is obviously essential if Byrne is to reach his Irish title goal but, for the Declan Geraghty Sr-trained fighter, performance is paramount on the ‘Collision’ bill in Belfast this coming Saturday.
The Loughlinstown fighter faces veteran Belfast hardman Jamesy Gorman on the MHD Promotions card at the Europa Hotel.
“For me, this Saturday is all about the performance as that’s why I took on a lesser opponent,” Byrne told Irish-Boxing.com.
“It’s been a year since we have taken a fight where ‘I should win’ rather than a big step up or title fight. Since I moved to Deco I have fought Anthony Fowler, John Thain [in an exhibition], Gerard Whitehouse and Craig O Brien.”
“This camp I have prepared harder than I did for the Irish title fight and diet has been way more strict. I feel I’m fitter and stronger this time and slightly lighter.”
“My opponent has a good name and is tough as they come in terms of his chin and durability, I’ve seen others who have fought him being really happy they beat him.”
When ‘The Negotiator’ talks performance, it doesn’t seem as if he aiming for a show-stealing eye-catching display that gets fans to take note. Instead, you get the feeling that the self-managed fighter is hoping to see improvements and implement things he has worked on in the gym over four rounds against ‘The Chin’.
Byrne was more hurt with the manner in which he fought rather than the result in his Irish title fight with Craig O’Brien last month March and seems to want to right that wrong.
“After watching the fight back I was and am disgusted with my performance,” he reiterated of his display against O’Brien.
“It was unlike me and not my style of boxing with all that rush-rush swinging nonsense. After the fight, I was done and just fed up but I literally couldn’t ever walk away after how I felt I performed so, therefore, I had to return.”
“Losing the fight was never really gonna hamper either of us. I felt that me losing to a guy at a weight above me that is 7-0 really is no shame but It wasn’t the loss that killed me, it was the performance.”
“Declan not been there affected me massively from the week’s prep to the day’s prep to the first six rounds of not having his calming and guidance. The lads did their best but it just wasn’t Declan,” he added before suggesting he remains rematch keen.
“I asked for a rematch the next day and I still would jump on it as I, and I think everyone else, knows it wasn’t me on the night – however, take nothing away from Craig, he boxed excellent.”
If any fighter can take defeat on the chin it’s Byrne and the ‘Iron’ reverse, while frustrating, hasn’t hampered his title desire.
The 31-year-old, who takes up promoting in the Summer, is desperate for an Irish title shot at the weight in which he holds the BUI Celtic title, welterweight, but is struggling to find a willing opponent.
“I want an Irish title shot at welter and have scouted around and asked three possible opponents to no avail.I don’t have long left as I’ve a busy lifestyle so I’m open to fights as always.”
Byrne, who Matchroom have used to test some of their rising stars, is also open to a return to road.
He revealed that “there was talk of appearing back on Sky on the [April 21st] Khan bill but it didn’t happen even though I went public stating I was willing to fight Scott Fitzgerald on a week’s notice.”
Instead, it will by Gorman on the MHD dinner show and once ‘back to winning ways’ expect Byrne to feature in a big fight on his own card this Summer.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)