Paul Hyland [20(7)-2(2)] is confident he can make what already will be a memorable 2021 a vintage year by winning the British lightweight title on Friday.
The Belfast battler is set to become a father for the first time this summer and would love nothing more than to make the new addition to the family the child of a British champion.
‘Hylo’ argues knowing fatherdom awaits has proven motivational and added that bit during camp.
“I feel a lot more focused and this really could be a special year for me with a baby due around my birthday in June. Knowing our baby is on the way just gives me even more drive,” he explained when speaking to David Kelly of the Belfast Telegraph.
While thoughts of becoming a father in the near future have inspired Hyland, he argues events of the past have also given him an edge as he readies himself for the inform Maxi Hughes.
The Mark Dunlop managed entertainer has lost in high profile British and European title fights to Lewis Ritson and Francessco Paterra respectively – and suggests he has learnt signifigantly from both.
“Coming into this fight, I have the best mindset I’ve ever had. I have learned from the past two title defeats. I lost to two good fighters so there was no shame in that,” admits Hyland.
“You either win or you learn and I know my approach will be different for this fight.”
The 30-year-old, who fights for a title vacated by his MHD stablemate James Tennyson, believes he paid too much attention on trying to negating what his opponent could do rather than try and impose himself on proceedings, in his last to title outings.
“I’m focusing more on what I will do rather than worrying about my opponent which is probably what I did before.
“Apart from my mindset being better, I am also a lot stronger. I’ve been working with Emma Brennan for my strength and conditioning and I feel great. I don’t believe I could be in any better shape for this fight.”