Unbeaten Dublin Featherweight Patrick “The Punisher” Hyland wants to kick off TG4’s boxing coverage with a bang this Friday night (August 12th) when he takes on Italy’s former European title challenger, Fabrizio “Popeye” Trotta in the first ever professional boxing contest to be screened live on the Irish language channel (from 9:30pm).
Hyland will be joined by compatriot Henry Coyle in an Ireland V Italy double with the Mayo man taking on Elio Cotena for the WBF Light Middleweight title in the main event at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar and he’s hoping for an Irish double.
“Hopefully both myself and Henry can do the business over the Italian’s and it’s great that it will be live on terrestrial TV,” said Hyland. “It’s nice to be involved in the first ever live bout on TG4 and hopefully I can put on a performance that people will remember as well. If I’m honest my Irish isn’t what it should be but hopefully I can do my talking, ’as gaeilge’ in the ring and give the commentary team on TG4 plenty to talk about afterwards.”
Having complied a perfect record of 23 and 0 since turning professional the Tallaght native and Shamrock Rovers fanatic will head West looking to take another step closer to equalling the late, great Johnny Caldwell’s record of having the longest unbeaten run in Irish boxing. Belfast legend Caldwell compiled that record en route to winning the World Bantamweight title in 1961 by reaching 25 and 0 and a win on Friday will leave Hyland just one win from equalling that record.
Trotta though has arrived in Ireland with a cautionary message for the Dubliner. "Hyland has a nice record but records are for paper,” scoffed the Italian. “They count for nothing once you start trading punches in the ring and I am confident that I can score a big win to put me right back in the picture for another European title fight. Our styles are similar and we both like to have a fight so I’m sure it will be exciting while it lasts but this will be a step too far for Mr. Hyland."
Naturally Hyland has other ideas and is confident of that Trotta’s second trip to Ireland will be just as fruitless as his first when he travelled to Dublin back in 2008 in an unsuccessful challenge to then European Super Bantamweight champ, Rendall Munroe.
“I watched his fight with Munroe and he was dangerous early on, although more so with his head than his gloves!,” said Hyland. “I will have to be wary for the first couple of rounds and see what he has to offer. He was doing well against Munroe but he suffered a broken hand and the fight had to be stopped. That’s the only time in his career he’s been stopped so I’m prepared to go the distance if necessary but if a chance to take him out comes my way then obviously I’ll try to take it.
“This fight has been made at two pounds over the featherweight limit and I’m already on the weight right now. I’ve found making the weight a lot easier since I started working on strength and conditioning with Joe Clifford. He’s brought a very scientific approach to our training and it’s paying off. My diet’s a lot better controlled now and I’m really feeling the benefits of the work we’ve been doing with Joe.”
“I’m certainly not looking beyond Trotta, he’s a former European title challenger so I have to give him respect and I can’t afford to slip up against him. My team have been looking at some very exciting opportunities in the pipeline after this fight and hopefully people will be hearing more about that in the coming weeks but right now my focus is just on Friday night and my Italian job!”
It will be a family affair for the Hyland’s in Castlebar with Patrick’s younger brother and former European title challenger Paul Hyland also in action when he takes on two weight Welsh champ Dai Davies. The bout will mark Hyland’s second since his European title defeat last November and an impressive win over Davies should put the Dubliner back in line for a second bite at the European cherry.
The Hyland brothers are trained by their father Pat and Hyland Senior is in for a busy night as he will also feature in Finbarr Eade’s corner at the Royal Theatre when the Westport man challenges for the Irish Super Featherweight title on home ground against London based southpaw, Mickey Coveney.
An eagerly awaited all Mayo clash on the card features former Irish Champion John Waldron taking on Michael Sweeney in an Irish Light Heavyweight title eliminator. Another all–Irish clash rounds out the card with Roscommon’s unbeaten Darren Cruise taking on Leeds based Belfast southpaw Lee Murtagh in a Super Middleweight encounter.
Friday’s night’s boxing is live on TG4 from 9:30 and will be streamed live worldwide on www.tg4.tv.
Tickets for the event priced €30, €40, €70 and €100 are on sale from the Royal Theatre Box Office on 0818 719 300, Ticketmaster.ie / 0818 719300.