Tommy Hyde is hoping to kickstart a new beginning for Cork boxing when he goes back to where it all began this Saturday night.
The 23-year-old prospect goes right back to his roots when he trades leather at the Parochial Hall, the same venue where he had his first ever spar at the age of just seven.
The headline fight on Siam Warriors cross-code card is also Hyde’s first back in his hometown, although he remains adamant it won’t be his last.
‘The Governor’ believes the time is right for Cork to finally have a thriving pro boxing scene and is confident he is the man to lead the charge in a city that’s the home of Callum Walsh, Steven Cairns, Danny Keating, Vladimir Belujsky, Cathal Crowley, and of course Spike O’Sullivan.
Hyde, who faces Frenchmen Salim Ben Rejeb [9(0)-9(1)-1] on Saturday, is also aware a good performance this Saturday night will only help in that regard and is determined to fuel growing excitement levels by putting on a show.
“It’s unreal to be fighting in Cork and especially the Parochial Hall. When I was 7-years-old I’d my first ever spar in Sunnyside Boxing Club which is upstairs and now 16 years later I’m fighting as a professional downstairs,” Hyde explains when speaking to Irish-boxing.com.
“It’s a historic building in the Northside of Cork and to make it better, our family bar Hannah Bawn’s is one of the closest bars to the boxing.
“I want to fight in Cork regularly and there’s no reason why I can’t because the support I’m getting is crazy. It’s up to me to put on an exciting performance on Saturday and get people excited for another big night this year.”
Cork has always been a city that has produced good boxers but has never played host to shows on a regular basis. As a young fighter Hyde may not be best placed to delve into why that is, all he knows is that the support for him and this show has been sizable. He also points out that there are a lot of active Cork fighters on the circuit at present which should help any Rebel revival.
“I’ve had a great few weeks training in LA, I got back last Thursday and it’s mad the amount of time I’ve been stopped in the street with people wishing me luck.
“There’s a lot of excitement for this show and it’s great to be bringing boxing back to Leeside,” he adds.
“Cork is a huge boxing city, we have produced some legends of Irish boxing and there’s great talent on the way up. It’s great to have a few of us on the pro scene now and we’re all doing very well.”