June 26 Jonny Stapleton
The Punisher succeeded were Matthew Macklin failed claiming international honours, albeit of a less prestigious nature, and signalled his serious title intent with a cool and confident 120-108, 119-109 and 120-108 points victory over Phillipe Fernois.
The Tallaght star looked a class above a fighter, who has mixed at top European level, and was so powerful and affective that the French pugilist, who has never been stopped, hailed lasting the 12 rounds as his own personal victory.
Hyland, who is now unbeaten in 23 outings, is hoping to make a National Stadium defence in September before trying to add a new belt to the most decorated mantle piece in Irish boxing.
Indeed the proud Dub hasn’t ruled out taking advantage of his mother, Dinah’s Birmingham roots to take the British path and challenge at British domestic level.
“I am delighted with my performance against a tough guy. He only lost to names and I was comfortable against him. That gives you a confident booster and proves this is the level I am at,” Pajo reflected after the bout before looking to what is next.
“After this fight I know European and World level is where I belong. Maybe we will have a defence of this world title in September and then I will see what Brian (Peters) and my father have planed for me. Hopefully bigger names will want to fight for the WBF belt. Maybe the likes of Stephen Smith would be tempted by it and I could challenge for the British and Commonwealth title. I would go any route to get a belt. If you go the British title way you are live on Sky. There is no TV here so would have no problem going there.”
However, whilst he failed to issue light outs to the French man he did light up the Stadium with some moments of class.
Hyland boxed around his opponents tight guard superbly and landed some beautiful shots against a much slighter but survival savvy foe.
The Irish super featherweight champ, who claims he is benefiting from Joe Clifford’s strength and conditioning training, did hurt the French tough man in the sixth, but admits he eventually elected against going for the stoppage.
“He was very cagy and had a tight guard. I hurt him in the sixth but he began to cover up a good bit more then. He was clever enough and started to lead with the head and try punch me round the back of my head, but you get that in boxing. He never hurt me at any stage. At one point I just knew this lad wasn’t really going to be stopped so I just start boxing. There is no point walking onto anything stupid when you have the fight won. He admitted I hit hard with both hands after the fight. He said he was happy just to survive, which is a nice confidence booster for me.”