It was a far from perfect build-up, indeed it was more of a nightmare, but Jay Byrne [5(1)-2(0)] was able to call upon his experience and reserves to grab a win at the weekend.
Following two losses against big Matchroom prospects Felix Cash and Josh Kelly, Byrne was back in the home corner as part of the ‘Celtic Clash 2’ card at the National Stadium.
It was by no means a glorious homecoming though, with the Dublin welter fighting Poland’s Daniel Przewieslik over four.
Not in fighting shape and dealing with personal problems, many others would have pulled out, but the principled Byrne is a man of his word and went into the bout underprepared and emerged with a points victory.
Following the 40:37 win Byrne told Irish-Boxing.com that “I said it in the interviews leading up to it, it was probably the worst six weeks of my life. I had some personal stuff, so I wasn’t training and I hadn’t been in the gym. I done nothing for this fight.”
“I probably wasn’t right to fight, but look I wouldn’t pull out of a fight. I said ‘look I’ll go ahead with it’. The offered me an opponent that had one win and eight losses, but morally I couldn’t sell a ticket for an opponent like that. I just couldn’t do that.”
“That is who I am no disrespect to these lads they are doing their job, but I couldn’t ask people to pay hard earned money to watch me blow away a lad at this stage of my career.”
“I wasn’t selling tickets or anything and I did 65 since Monday and that is with people away.”
On the fight itself, it was far from the Loughlinstown 30 year old’s best, but Byrne was happy to get the win.
He described how “I hurt this lad one or two times but I hadn’t got it in me to step it up. I got caught a few times too.”
“I was tired after two rounds and you know that’s not me. You saw me in England against top opposition and doing the rounds wasn’t a problem. I was constantly going forward in those and I couldn’t do it tonight.”
“After it all I am delighted with the win. I wasn’t near my best and I got a win over a good enough guy.”
Looking ahead, Byrne is planning a short break, but has big plans for the second half of the year, with some domestic dust-ups being hinted at.
“I am going to go away see what the story is,” he outlined.
“I have two big big fights lined up. I can’t say who they are as of yet. They are not till the end of the year. I will have a break now and see where I am at when I get back.”
“Those fights are ready. They are verbally at my end. One of them is a massive fight for me and for Ireland.”
“I saw the line up [for Celtic Clash 2] and there are lads talking about me that will blow theirs away and then say ‘oh Jay looked shite’, but that’s the way it is. The fight is there for one of them on a big bill and lets see if they take it. I’d fight anyone.”
“I have proven that and I am confident going into fights. Lets see if this fight, which is bigger than the Stadium, is taken.”