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History Maker Hyde ready to take centre stage

On February 23rd 1946 Tommy Hyde won the Irish Senior title at welterweight.

This coming Saturday, February 23rd 2019, another Tommy Hyde will look to triumph at the National Stadium.

The Cork light heavyweight is a grand-nephew to his namesake and will look to make some family history when he takes on Thomas O’Toole live on TG4.

Hyde booked his spot in the decider with a narrow 3-2 split-decision win over Belfast banger Paul McCullagh and told Irish-Boxing.com that “it’s a nice boxing moment for me.”

“My grand-uncle won it 73 years ago, to the day of the finals.”

It was an extremely tight fight with McCullagh, a bout which had been hyped since the draw was made earlier this month.

Two punchers, both aware of each other’s power, it was perhaps not the slugfest some expected.

Hyde notes how “I knew he was strong coming into it and I have my own power so it was cagey.”

“I thought I won the first round and then I finished strong in the last.”

It will be O’Toole in the final and Hyde believes it may be another tense encounter.

The Mayfield talent explained how “I know of him but I haven’t seen much, to be honest.”

“He won the Haringey Cup last year when I was over. He won at 75kg. He’s an awkward southpaw, it’ll be another cagey fight I suppose.”

“It’s good to be in the exciting ones but, once I win, I don’t care, once I get the win, I’m happy.”

Should Hyde have his hand raised on Saturday night he won’t be the only one that is happy.

The young Leesider brought a big crowd to the Stadium last weekend and is promising an even larger support this Saturday.

Son of fight boss Gary, Hyde is used to travelling around the world going to some of the biggest events in boxing and he is now looking forward to taking centre stage.

There’s no pressure for Hyde – whether it be from the TV cameras, the weight of family history, the shadow of Joe Ward or otherwise.

Hyde described how “50 people came up from Cork and you could probably double that next week.”

“This is what I’m in boxing for, big crowds, big events, I love all this stuff.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie