Hyland holds head high despite defeat
Boxing:Ireland’s Patrick Hyland lost his unbeaten record after a points defeat to Javier Fortuna of the Dominican Republic in their WBA interim featherweight title fight as part of the Juan Manuel Marquez versus Manny Pacquiao undercard in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The 29-year-old Dubliner lost the call from all three judges (115-113, 116-112 and 118-110) in a bout televised live in over 50 countries.
Hyland came in to the fight as a 10 to 1 outside in the Las Vegas betting, but pushed his southpaw opponent all the way in a fight that will add to his reputation on the world stage.
“I’m sorry for everyone back home that I won’t be bringing the world title belt back with me,” said Hyland. “A lot of fans made the long journey from Ireland to cheer me on in very hard economic times and I really appreciate that.
“A lot of people were predicting that I would be out of my depth against Fortuna and were tipping him to blow me away in a round or two. They obviously didn’t know me and I just found it pretty funny to be written off like that but I’m a stubborn Irishman and I think I proved a lot of people wrong.
“Fortuna was billed as the next big thing in boxing but I felt I burst his bubble in there. He had a reputation as a huge puncher but I can honestly say he never hurt me at any point and I think he was quite wary of my own power.
“He certainly wasn’t as reckless as he has been in all his other fights so I think he respected my power a lot more than his previous opponents.”
Prior to a post fight visit to hospital to check on a possible injured shoulder Fortuna confirmed that the fight was much harder than anticipated.
“I thought it would be easy but it was not, I underestimated Hyland and had to work hard. It was complicated in there,” he said.