Paul Hyland Jr served up a delicious main course tonight on the ‘Champions at the Europa’ dinner show in Belfast. Headlining the four fight card, ‘Hylo’ took on Hungary’s Bence Molnar over eight rounds, and the local lightweight did not disappoint his large fanbase.
A competitive first round was won by the cleaner work of Hyland who showed great variety in his shots right from the off.
The pair then went to war in the second stanza, standing and trading with both landing big shots, although with Hyland perhaps shading it.
20 year old ‘Baby Face’ Bence was game beyond his years and was perhaps edging the third round, but Hylo roared back in the final 30 seconds, hurting the Central European to the delight of the crowd.
Perhaps tired by their explosive start, the pair slowed down slightly in the fourth – although the round was still a back-and-forth affair with plenty of flush shots landed.
The physically stronger Hyland continued to push back his busy opponent in the fifth round, but his head was rocked back three times by eye-catching uppercuts from the Hungarian.
The Belfast man, perhaps shook by round five, boxed at range in the sixth and was dominant, scoring lovely shots throughout.
Continuing this trend, Hyland started the seventh on the outside, but was drawn into trading more as the round progress.
Entering into the final round of a closely contested bout, Hyland seemed the fresher fighter, and was well on top – but the immensely likeable Molnar dug deep and continued to take punishment, as well as throwing in the odd barrage of shots, right up until the final bell
The referee’s scorecard read 80-73 in favour of Hyland – and while definitely the correct result, this was perhaps slightly too wide.
With the win, the title-chasing Hyland stretches his unbeaten record to 8(2)-0, while Molnar moves to 13(5)-6(0).
Hyland will now immediately turn his attentions to his undercard slot on the Cyclone Promotions ‘All on the Line’ show at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on November 20th.