Tallaght boxer on the brink of emulating Barry McGuigan's world title success 7 years ago

Tallaght boxer on the brink of emulating Barry McGuigan's world title success

Paddy Hyland was preparing for some sparring sessions in Dublin, last June, but his mind wandered.

His father and trainer, Patrick Sr., was due to run him through the session - as he had for over a decade - but he was nowhere to be seen.


Hyland got through the session and plotted the next. It would be later that day that he learned of his father's suicide. It blew his world apart but he had to keep it together as best he could.

A week later, his wife, Lorna, gave birth to their son, Callum.

He had to keep his head on, best he could. Boxing was his job and fighting was his life.

Paddy Hyland video


Somehow, and he can't tell you how, 'Pajo the Punisher' managed to beat David Martinez over eight rounds. That was October of last year, five months on from the most unforgettable week of his life.

The victory got him back into the top 20 of the world featherweight rankings. No-one was expecting a title shot anytime soon but that is exactly what he got.

The Tallaght native has been given a title shot against WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. in this evocative Tallaght Echo video [below] Hyland spoke about his father and grasping the opportunity of a life-time. He says:

"Knowing that my Dad will be there [in spirit]... I have some sort of a feeling that he helped get me this fight. I'll definitely be hearing his voice in that corner or somewhere in that crowd...

"I think Russell Jr. is looking past me because I am ranked number 18 in the world and it's a hand-picked fight for him. He thinks he's going to blow me over. I hope he does think that way because it would be a bad mistake."


Were Hyland to upset the odds, he would be the first Irish boxer in 30 since - since Barry McGuigan - to hold a world featherweight belt. He has plenty of motivation already but that green belt would look nice around his waist.

His dad, his wife, son, brothers and entire family would be proud. Ireland would be ecstatic.

Russell v Hyland will be part of Live Fight International, which begins from 3am [Sunday morning] on Sky Sports 1.


Video via YouTube: Echo Newspaper