Moments after he settled his grudge with Ger ‘Crank’ Whitehouse in emphatic fashion Byrne sat draped in the BUI Celtic title, gloves in hand and pondering whether or not to place them over the hooks above his head in the National Stadium dressing room.
The 31 year old surprised most by claiming retirement was a serious option. He had achieved more than he had set out to achieve and, after one of the most unique years of any Irish boxer, he was contemplating calling it a day.
However, it seems a fire still burns and the Loughlinstown welter contacted Irish-Boxing.com to let it be known he will fight on.
In fact the secondary title holder has now set himself the goal of the Irish title.
Byrne outlined that “if am being 100% honest, the retirement plans were in my head. I was thinking it would have been a nice way to end what I class as an excellent career for a man that never dreamed of ever achieving half of what I did.”
Now he has had a taste of boxing silverware Byrne wants more. The Irish title is the latest addition to an ever evolving bucket list.
The Declan Geraghty Snr trained fighter isn’t weight fussy and claims he would be open to challenging at welter or light middleweight.
He had previously agreed to fight Noel Murphy for the vacant welterweight belt and is open to facing light middleweight BUI Celtic champ Craig O’Brien for the green belt at weight division above.
“I have made my choice to stay on and I want to go after the Irish title straight away. Whether that be at welterweight or light middle, I am easy.”
“I did agree to box Noel Murphy for it but that’s unsure due to Noel’s American commitments, I am not sure if the light middle is held or vacant but that’s a title I also could fight for and I believe Craig O’Brien is looking for that as well.”
“Craig is a smashing guy and I’m sure he would be glad to know I would be willing to take that fight. I am not too sure if many other eligible for it at the weight.”
If an Irish title fight can’t be made Byrne has options. Having fought on live TV as an away fighter three times last year, he has built up a relationship with Matchroom and that can be explored further if needs be – and ‘The Negotiator’ still has a bit of a thing for the Conor Benn fight even after the English prospect was dropped and scraped a dubious win against Cedrick Peynaud last week.
Defending the BUI Celtic title is also an option, and there are plenty of domestic fighters at welterweight meaning promoters could make some interesting fights.
Byrne is willing to explore those options, but is adamant he will only defend against viable contenders.
“I have been screaming for Conor Benn for a year now, but that fell on deaf ears and after Wednesday I see why!”
“That’s still a fight I want. I will travel anywhere for it,” he continued before talking about possible defences.
“A lot will fancy their chances of getting in with me, but some lads need realise I’m 10 fights in and have had to take some serious fights to get to where I am, so don’t think I’m getting in with lads with two or three fights and putting my title on the line.”