Paul Hyland Jr [13(4)-0] tops the first Irish card of the year tonight in Belfast and the Lagmore man is in tip-top shape.
Hylo has been getting some top sparring for the fight with Giovanni Gallovich [8(1)-0] at the Europa Hotel, sharing the ring with the likes of Marco McCullough, Sean McComb, and even Carl Frampton.
While he has been training with Belfast’s best, he also got plenty of rounds in a bit closer to home against one of the stars of tomorrow.
Caoimhin Ferguson is just 19 years old, but the light welterweight has been helping Hyland prepare for what will be his first ten rounder. Indeed Ferguson also featured during camp for Hylo’s previous fight.
Ferocious Fergie boxes out of Gleann ABC, the same club as Hyland, and the similarities don’t end there. The Belfast teen is insanely fit and a relentless fighter, not giving opponents time to breath.
26 year old Hyland is thankful for the help Ferguson provided in the build-up to tonight’s fight, and told Irish-Boxing.com that “I’d be friends with Caoimhin inside and outside of the ring. He gave me great sparring. He has an engine, he trains hard, he puts it in. He was great helping me get ready for my fight and I helped him get ready for those Championships.”
Hyland is here referring to the National Under-22 Championships, where Ferguson was edged out by Paulstown’s Keith Flavin on a split decision in the 64kg final last weekend – a verdict which the Belfast faithful strongly disagreed with.
MHD fighter Hyland was in attendance – along with his father Paul Snr who was in Ferguson’s corner – and he described how “it was a very close fight. I thought the same as most other people – that he did enough to win it, but that’s boxing. It just didn’t fall for him.”
“That was the one thing he wanted to win, that Irish title. He’s always come close in Irish championships but he never got the win. That one, well he thought he had it, so it’s disappointing.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: