By Kevin Byrne
PATRICK HYLAND is eyeing a world title shot in 2012 after a successful initiation into the Snooki Boxing family.
Those who stayed up and shelled out for the pay-per-view card from Atlantic City were treated to three decent scraps involving the Hyland brothers, with plenty of polyfilla in between.
And two victories form three wasn’t a bad tally for the visiting Dubs, even if Eddie could count himself hard done by to lose a four-round decision to Franklin Gonzalez at light-middleweight.
The show topper was Patrick’s Snooki debut against former Manny Pacquiao foe Emmanuel Lucero. A wee messer, the Mexican made it awkward for the former Irish champ but was consistently beaten to the punch by Hyland’s snappier jab, while attempts to make this a brawl only served to deliver severe bruising to the Mexican’s face.
Hyland was just glad to get off the mark in an exciting new chapter to his fight career. He said: “I was happy with it but I could have done a lot more, I could have thrown more punches.
“He kept going down low and he was awkward, so I was trying to work that out. It’s six months since I fought so I was a bit rusty and I’m hoping to be out again soon and go 26-0 – world title then.
“He wasn’t tougher than I thought a so knew he was gonna be strong. We had sparred beforehand and he gave me four tough rounds when he was getting ready for his last fight – we hadn’t mentioned this beforehand!
“At times I could have boxed better but I do like a tear-up at times. I wanted to box but when he hit me with a few shots then I wanted to brawl with him and I was doing OK when I did.”
So what’s next? “I’ll be back in the gym soon and hopefully back in action by March/April ahead of a major title shot. Now I’m signed up with Snooki Boxing, I think I was a success in there. I think we’re gonna go far so I was happy with my opening show.”
The lads’ dad Paddy Snr seemed to believe his eldest Eddie was robbed and he’s not really out of line with the claim. The fight was a lacklustre affair but having being buzzed in the first round, Eddie’s advance from then on coupled with a stiff jab seemed to control the action. Still, I had it a 2-2 draw and expected such a verdict.
Paddy Snr added: “I was ecstatic with the three boys. I thought Eddie was awesome and in my opinion it was a bad decision and I think most people would agree. Eddie fought his heart out, Paulie showed his spectacular boxing skills and with Pajo…bring on anybody. Billy Dib, Gamboa, another one or two fights for Patrick and he’s ready.”
For his part Paul is trying to gain recognition in his own right. He was a class above Santiago and used his clever movement to frustrate his opponent, popping out attacks that – while infrequent and in danger of skewing the decision – clearly held sway when the judges went to decide.
The European title challenger, beaten in November 2010 by Willie Casey, said: “He was tougher than I thought he’d be. But a great start to the year for me and hopefully I’m out over here again in March.”
Irish Invasion Fight Night, Resorts Casino, Atlantic City
Patrick Hyland won UD8 over Emmanuel Lucero, 77-75, 78-74, 79-73
Paul Hyland won UD6 over Arturo Santiago 58-56, 58-56, 59-55
Eddie Hyland lost UD4 to Franklin Gonzalez 39-37, 39-37, 40-36.