Paul Hyland Jr wins Waterfront war

Paul Hyland Jr was involved in yet another fantastic fight at the Waterfront Hall tonight. The fan-friendly lightweight outpointed dangerous French power-puncher Virgile Degonzaga, over six rounds on the Cyclone Promotions show.

In a ferocious first round, Hyland’s Gallic opponent came out flying, out-throwing the Belfast man but Hyland did score well with counters and when he stayed at range.

Degonzaga again began quick in the second, but Hyland soon began to assert some control, with his left hook working well, and scored a particularly eye-catching such in the final 10 seconds to guarantee the round.

In the third, Hyland began well, using his boxing, however he was stunned midway through the stanza. To his credit, the 25 year old recovered well and continued to box behind jab until the round descended into firefight in the final 30 and Hyland, looking fitter, got the better of the closing exchanges.

The fifth began slowly, but again exploded into life towards the end with Hyland roared on by his huge following. The Mark Dunlop-promoted fighter was hurt by a big left hook from his French opponent, but he bit down on the gumshield and fought back, probably scraping the round.

The fifth was the best round of the fight for a now cut and bleeding Hyland. The Belfast boxer showed great lateral movement and timing to stay out of trouble and landed numerous good counters on his onrushing opponent.

A tired Degonzaga came out swinging in the final round, but Hyland, who finished strong, showed considerable boxing skill to stay at range, and true grit on the few occasions he was dragged into the trenches.

At the final bell of a barnstorming contest the referee scored the bout 60-54 in favour of Hyland
who improves his unbeaten record to 9(2)-0. Degonzaga, who certainly came to fight, drops to 11(8)-11(2)-2.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]