Hyland focused despite title talk

PAUL HYLAND could hardly be blamed if he has one eye on the European title fight involving teak tough little Spaniard Kiko Martinez and Arsen Martyrosian, an Armenian who has based himself in France, at The National Stadium on Saturday night.

Hyland, reigning Irish and European Union super bantamweight champion, is not the only one who feels he is the natural successor to fellow Dubliner, Bernard Dunne.

It will be remembered Martinez unceremoniously stripped Dunne of his European title on his last visit to a Dublin ring and, after losing to the title to Rendall Munroe who has since vacated it, he now wants it back.

Insisting he will reclaim it, he wants Bernard Dunne to come back out of retirement for what would be a thriller everybody wants to see but nobody wants to happen. Martinez has said he would fight both Hyland and Limerick’s Prizefighter star Willie Casey on the same night.

He should not be so flippant because either one of them has the potential give him a fair fight if not a fair hiding and Hyland, who will take on American veteran Robert DaLuz over eight scheduled rounds on the Hunky Dory Fight Night undercard, is itching for a shot at the European title and is not fussy about who he fights.

“To be honest, I won’t be paying too much attention to the fight on Saturday because I’m just focused on my own fight,” he said. “But I don’t really mind who wins. Maybe I would lean towards Kiko because at the press conference for the show last month he shook my hand and promised me a shot if he won. It would nice to gain revenge for Ireland by taking the European title back off him.”

He is focused on his own fight and does not want to get sidetracked because he knows he must beat DaLuz if he is to progress his career. “He’s a guy that will come to win and he fights with a typical American style. But I’ve experience of that from the fights I’ve had in the US,” he said. “He’s a good opponent and he’s hardly ever been stopped so I’ll be prepared to go the distance and if the stoppage comes, it comes.

“Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey is a huge addition to our crop of super bantamweights and the Cuban Alexei Acosta, who has based himself in Cork, is a man none of them will want to fight.”

Barry McGuigan, the king of them all, said he believes Carl Frampton is the best super-bantamweight in Ireland. The unbeaten 23-year-old Belfast prospect tops a bill for the first time on September 18 when he takes on three-time European title challenger Yuriy Voronin, at the Ulster Hall.

Frampton believes he will put on a performance that will convince the critics he is the best super-bantam in Ireland – ahead of Irish and EU champion Paulie Hyland and Prizefighter winner Willie Casey.

Veronin gave Bernard Dunne quite a scare back in 2005 when he had the Dubliner, who would later become world champion, hanging on for dear life in the 10th round.

Brian Magee tops the bill at The Stadium on Saturday night when he makes the first defence of his European super middleweight title against Roman Aramian, the Lisburn southpaw just one fight from a world title shot having recently been installed as the WBA’s No. 1 challenger at super middleweight.

The nine-fight card also features undefeated Cork based Cuban’s Alexei Acosta and Luis Garcia although their compatriot heavyweight Mike Perez has been forced off the card through illness.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up