Dublin’s Jay Byrne [2(1)-0] has finally settled on what is a hugely-apt ring moniker as he begins his second year as a pro.
‘The Negotiator’ joined the growing list of new Irish pros when he debuted in the National Stadium in the Summer and caught the eye with a knockout victory over Gabor Ambrus.
He then registered a routine points win over the most awkward of opponents Liam Griffiths and looked like he was gaining momentum.
Following his second win he talked of a desire to be moved along as fast as possible and expressed a willingness to take instant step up to make that happen. However, it seems the fight business, as so often it can, got in the way of the business of fighting. Indeed the fighter who came second in the Irish-Boxing.com vote for Prospect of the Year, admits that a frustrating end to 2016 saw him considered packing it all in.
However, retirement was merely a fleeting thought and instead the 30 year old found a favourable solution.
Byrne has elected to manage himself and, with his destiny now in his own hands both inside and outside of the ring, is predicting a big 2017.
The Loughlinstown welter explained to Irish-Boxing.com how “my pro career kicked off in June with a moment I’ll never forget in the National Stadium. I scored a nice KO in a fight everyone said I was mad to take. Then there was a supposed fight in September but sadly that didn’t happen.”
“Then I got chance to fight in Belfast on Mark Dunlop show in October where I had a poor performance against the tough, durable Liam Griffiths. I then was in talks with Red Corner about the November show but there was some miscommunication and that broke down. Following that I was training and selling tickets for December show in Dublin only for that to collapse two weeks before it was scheduled to take place which was a really poor end to the year and left me questioning whether I would continue.”
A potential big fight came along in England, and when that fell through last minute, Byrne elected to take on more responsibility and self manage.
“I was gutted [when the Benn fight was cancelled] but it has made me feel a lot more focused and determined. Now and I have begun to self manage, so I can promote myself and go make fights happen without having to sit waiting for others to do it for me.”
It’s not an unfamiliar venture for the entrepreneurial Dub who, among other things, is player-manager of Enniskerry YC, runs his own gym, and is head honcho at the Semi-Pro Boxing Ireland.
It seems like a lot of responsibility to take on, but the Eddie Hyland and Tommy McCormack trained fighter hasn’t done a bad in guiding his own career.
Two dates and fights are secured and in the bag for February, while Byrne is close to securing himself two more bouts by May.
“Since I started to manage myself I have secured two dates in February. One on the 4th in Belfast on a Mark Dunlop show, I will do that four rounder and then it’s back home for a fight in the National Stadium on the 25th with Red Corner..”
“I also have a date nearly confirmed in the UK on a Mickey Helliet show for March and hopefully on a Steve Goodwin show again in May,” Byrne added before expressing a desire to fight at least six times in 2017.
“I want to have minimum six fights this year and maybe get a crack at one of the the titles that are floating around. I am not going to call out guys or talk about beating any the lads as it isn’t my style and I respect all the lads massively. I’ll do my thing and if that’s good enough to get me a title shot then I will be ready to give it my best shot against who ever it is.”
“I have received great support of some people over past while and a lot have said they want to continue sponsoring my journey in 2017. I really have to thank the likes of Dublin Plumbing and Gas, Matt Britton Carpets, High Tech Spec, Visual Print Bray, Centra Monkstown, The Ramblers Rest, MC MOTORS and Shane Green Designs.”
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show