BY Jonny Stapleton
‘Irish lightning’ Dean Byrne filled in for the AWOL Frankie Gavin last Friday night, but couldn’t steal the British stars thunder.
Byrne took a fight with mad cap French fighter Frank Haroche Horta at less than 24 hours notice and a just a week after defeating Michael Frontin after Irish welterweight champion Gavin’s unexplained absence.
It was a gamble that didn’t pay off as Byrne was eventually pulled out in round eight, but one worth taking considering victory could have seen him replace Gavin as one of Warren’s rising stars.
Despite failing to win the fight and loosing his undefeated record the fighter, who Freddie Roach backed to be a champion of the world, won plaudits and respect in abundance after saving the show and registering a brave performance.
The 27 year old Crumlin graduate was gutted with his first loss but vowed to come back stronger.
Byrne is singing off the what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger hymn sheet.
“It was big opportunity for me so I took the risk. I took the fight at less than 24 hours notice and a week after I had a fight. I had no training for a south paw. I lost over nine pounds to make weight. I don’t want to make excuses and respect is due he came and won on the night fair and square. I hurt my hand off his big hard head which didn’t help. But I will be back. I lost but defeats are what make champions. Lightning will strike again.