14 March 2010 – By Leonard Gunning
Dublins Paulie Hyland claimed the EU super-bantamweight title in emphatic fashion as he outclassed home favourite David Chianella in Italy on Friday.
In improving his record to 17-1 (5 KO) Paulie overtook his two older boxing brothers, Patrick and Eddie, in their very own family pursuit of major titles.
Fitter, fresher and faster; Hyland outclassed and outworked his more experienced adversary to stake a claim as the successor to Bernard Dunne at the top table of Irish boxing.
The bout, broadcast live on Italys national broadcaster RAI, was staged in a small but tightly packed venue 11km outside the southern city of Naples and despite Chianella being a northerner from Castel Ritaldi the raucous crowd was vehemently behind their fellow countryman.
The first two rounds were keenly and evenly contested as Chianella marched forward pressuring the 25-year-old Tallaght native. However, quality footwork and head movement ensured that the majority of this early onslaught was in vain and as the fight moved into the fourth round Hyland began to utilise his natural physical advantages of height and reach and began to dominate the fight.
The older shorter fighter slowed going into the middle rounds as Hyland glided around the ring like a ballroom dancer picking his opponent off at will and ensuring that the Italian was permanently on the end of his piston like left jab.
The Golden Cobra trained boxer grew in confidence as the Umbrian faded and then become as comfortable trading punches on the inside landed crunching right uppercuts as he was circled a now forlorn Chianella.
Returning to the long range boxing skills learnt as a youth under his fathers tutelage, Hyland enjoyed a successful spell teeing off at will with combinations of right crosses to head and stiff left uppercuts to the torso which was frequently finished with flurries which landed lightly on his increasingly frustrated foe.
As the fight entered the championship rounds Hylands class shone through as his footwork and Floyd Mayweatheresque shoulder rolls ensured that he remained elusive as he stepped in and out of range delivering solid blows to the head and body of Chianella.
For the first time in the fight Hyland now had the Gianni Them trained fighter pinned against the ropes and began to plant his feet and unleash volley after volley of uppercuts and hooks which were now snapping Chianellas head back.
Had Hyland possessed great punch power then referee Robin Dolpierre would have had no option but to stop the bout at this point. The Italian survived into the final stanza of the contest, but little fuel left in his energy reserve he could just manage to dutifully trudge forward in a zombielike fashion. This cumbersome form of attack was gleefully met by a marauding and still spritely young Dubliner whose lightening hand speed and work rate was incessant throughout.
Team Hyland jumped for joy upon hearing the final bell being rung and Paulie raised his arms to a reluctantly appreciative home crowd. All three European judges scored the bout in favour of Hyland, 117-111, 116-112 and 118-110, awarding him a unanimous points victory and the European Union strap. Hylands celebrations were subdued but he managed to break into a beaming smile as he greeted a small band of merry supporters who had made the long journey to the Italian city.
Paulie now follows Cavanman Andy Murray as the latest Irish holder of the EU title all will use this honour as a springboard to make a push for shot at Dunnes former European title. This top spot is now occupied by Englands Rendall Munroe, who defeated Dunnes conqueror Kiko Martinez in two fights. However, Munroe is being lined up for a shot at the WBC World title and this could leave the door open for Hyland to face Munroes compatriot Jason Booth to battle it out for the vacant spot at the top of tree in the European super bantamweight division.