Irishman says victory on Saturday will land him big title shots
Dean Byrne believes the big names will no longer run from fighting him after he wins the Prizefighter Welterweights 4 on Saturday night at the Sold-out York Hall, Bethnal Green live on Sky Sports.
Byrne only boxed once in 2013 after drawing with Carson Jones in December 2012 and the 29 year old has been frustrated at his lack of action after that night, but thinks that lifting the Prizefighter trophy will open big doors this year.
“I don’t know if it was my Carson Jones performance, and after that I couldn’t get anyone to step up to the plate,” said Byrne. “In Prizefighter everybody wants the £32,000 and everybody wants to fight. It is a big chance for everybody and it is all or nothing. Everybody will be trying really hard and going for it, and I am looking forward to it, it is going to be exciting.
“I took the Carson Jones fight to prove to people that I still had it, that I still had that fire in my belly, and that I still believed that I can mix it with the best in the world. I thought I would take the fight, beat him, and jump up from there. I think my performance was very good, I thought I won the fight, but after that everything went down and I didn’t get any fights. I was really unlucky.
“I am very confident about Prizefighter, I have got the tools, the attributes to win this Prizefighter. Over three rounds I will give anybody in the world a tough night, and I am prepared to do that in Prizefighter. I will be coming away with the win.
“I am in this because I can see that after people win Prizefighter they progress and go on the big title fights. That is what I will be looking for.
“I think staying busy is the way to go and to move forward. I think Prizefighter will suit me, three rounds and three fights in one night. I think that is perfect for me and it will up my record really quickly.”
The Irishman last boxed in February and won plaudits for his brave display in February when he took on hotly fancied Russian Roman Belaev for the vacant WBA Continental Welterweight title in Monaco. Byrne took the 23 year old the distance and says he takes great heart from his display.
“He was very powerful and it just goes to show how tough I am, and I can take some punches,” said Byrne. “I didn’t really want to take the punches but I just didn’t have the fluency, the distance and the time and I wasn’t making him miss the way I made Carson Jones miss back when I had that spring in my step. That is down to inactivity but hopefully now I can spring off that one and keep that momentum going and crack on in the Prizefighter.
“My distance and time was off but I trained really hard and put the work in, and I gave him a really tough fight. I was there, I was in the fight, and it was a really tough fight, one of my toughest to date. The inactivity showed on my part, and I didn’t get the win.
“He is a devastating puncher and I do think he could go on with that punch power to be a World champion. If he wants to give me a rematch when he becomes World champion, I will be looking forward to that one!”
Byrne lines-up alongside former European Lightweight champion Jason Cook, unbeaten 20 year old Johnny Coyle, Berkshire’s Mark Douglas and Peckham’s unbeaten Johnny Garton, former British Light Middleweight title challenger Erick Ochieng, Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Paddy Gallagher and Midlands Area champion Sam Eggington in the race for the trophy.
John Ryder faces Jez Wilson in a British Middleweight title eliminator in between the semi-finals and final of Prizefighter while two more London stars are on display at the home of boxing as Wadi Camacho warms up for his grudge Cruiserweight clash with Stephen Simmons with a four-round contest while talented Light Welterweight Ricky Boylan returns to the ring following a hand injury.