By Jonny Stapleton
Patrick Hyland wants to grab headlines for his boxing ability and not his relationship with reality TV star Snooki in Atlantic City tonight.
The Tallaght featherweight was the talk of celebrity magazines, gossip columns and entertainment shows when Team Snooki Boxing officially launched the ‘Irish Invasion’ card last week.
The reigning Irish and WBF world featherweight champion is delighted the Jersey Shore star is helping to raise his profile, but is keen to see his name in newspaper sports sections on Monday morning.
“I just train everyday and focus on the fights. I am 100 percent focused on boxing and this fight,” the middle of the three champion brothers told Mirror Sport. “I have been here since September and I am raring to go. Of course Nicole, who is a lovely person, her name and her fame help raise my profile. I was always going to jump at that. She has done a great job publicising the show and myself, but I am here to win fights. I want to be world champion and I believe I can achieve that if I didn’t I wouldn’t be here.”
Before he can think about world title fights Hyland must over come his stiffest test to date on the ‘Irish Invasion’ card.
“The Punisher” tackles former world title challenger and Manny Pacquioa foe Emanuel Lucero, but is confident of victory.
“This guy is small and dangerous. His record suggests he is the best I have faced. He was only beaten by undefeated fighters and good prospects. He was in with the likes of Manny Pacquioa and is experienced. It is my biggest fight so far and that gives you an extra buzz.”
The Resorts Hotel Casino in Atlantic City isn’t quite the National Stadium or the Basket Ball Arena but Patrick believes with his family there it will be like a home away from home.
Borthers Paul Hyland and Eddie Hyland both appear on the card against Arturo Santiago and Franklin Gonzalez respectfully.
“It is great to have the two brothers on the card. I have had them beside me my whole career. It will feel like home as we break onto the American scene.”