Headline News

Stronger Paul Hyland Jr targeting British champ Lewis Ritson after Steve Ormond fight

Paul Hyland Jr [16(6)-0] is in the best shape of his life, and believes defeating Stephen Ormond and proving he is Ireland’s best lightweight will open the door to a British title shot.

Hyland Jr grabbed his chance to impress on the undercard of Ryan Burnett’s World title win over Lee Haskins early this year with both gloves.

The 27 year old’s first round destruction of Adam Dingsdale catapulted him from small hall ticket seller to a full-time boxer and World title chief support – and he believes another impressive performance this weekend can have a similar propelling effect.

If Hyland overcomes experienced Dubliner Ormond [24(13)-4(1)] he will set his sights on Lewis Ritson, who wrestled the British crown from Robbie Barrett in Manchester earlier in the month.

“Next year I’d love to fight for the British title,” said Hyland. “That’s a fight I want, I want that Lonsdale belt.

“I’m in the top ten in Britain now and I know Matchroom have just signed Lewis who had a good win over Barrett. I feel Barrett was just a typical southpaw, box and move, and I think Ritson’s going to have a harder time pushing me back.”

“I watched Barrett beat [Scott] Cardle, and there was a few times that I said I wanted to fight Cardle for a British title, obviously it never came off, but then Barett executed his gameplan, outboxed Cardle and won that well – then Ritson came in with the perfect gameplan for him!”

“[Commonwealth champion, Sean] Dodd as well, that would be a cracking fight because the two of us would go head to head. They’re all fights that excite me.

Hyland Jr puts his IBF East/West Europe strap on the line for the first time against ‘The Rock, and admits Saturday is his first big test in his 17th pro outing.

The Lagmore puncher has packed in his old job as an electrician to focus on professional boxing full-time, and he can notice the difference – as could those who were at yesterday’s weigh-in.

“It’s just boxing now,” he explained. “Shortly after Christmas I gave up my job, for that last fight.”

“I’m in camp, training twice a day, sometimes three, it’s tough. I can feel it in myself – and I started a new programme with my friend Michael Lyons who has been doing strength for me and I’ve Michael McComb doing a lot of fitness with me, then I’ve the boxing and sparring with my dad.”

“All them different factors, I can feel me progressing and progressing.”

“Everything has gone well. I’ve done some great strength and condition work for this camp. I’m feeling fit, strong and sharp for this one.”

“I can feel my power and strength improving. It’s very specialist. It’s all going to plan so far and I’m excited to get in there and test it all out.”

In terms of impact, the win over Dingsdale is surely one of the great Irish performances and victories of late.

The manner in which Hylo took out the Englishman and took his chance in the spotlight has brought his profile and career to another level.

However, when reflecting on the clash, he claims a first round destruction was never on his mind in the lead up – but he was happy to grab Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn’s attention.

“In boxing that’s what you’ve got to do, keep going, and keep your wins going. I made a good statement the last time, Eddie talked to me afterwards and he was happy with me.”

“I wasn’t expecting the fight to finish so early against Dingsdale. The game plan was to push him back early and show him he was in for a tough night from the start. But I just caught him, I knew as soon as I hit him he was in trouble. His legs and eyes were gone and I just jumped on him.”



Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years