Patrick Hyland set for WBC world title clash against Gary Russell Jr
Dubliner aims to become only the second Irishman to hold the famous “green belt” after Wayne McCullough
Patrick Hyland: “I said, ‘how can it get bigger for me?’ I come from Jobstown and I’m fighting on pay-per-view in Las Vegas. It’s a dream.” Photograph: Inpho
Dubliner Patrick Hyland is taking inspiration from a pair of Mexican ring legends as he bids to upset the odds in his world-title bout Saturday night. The Tallaght featherweight is a 7/1 underdog to cause a shock against American title holder Gary Russell Jr in their WBC world title clash in Connecticut as
Hyland aims to become only the second Irishman to hold the famous “green belt” after Wayne McCullough.
Hyland is looking to some Mexican legends of the ring, however, ahead of the bout against Russell – a stylish southpaw with fast hands who was a decorated amateur and has only suffered one defeat as a pro. The 32-year-old Dubliner, who has also suffered just one pro loss, has been studying footage of Juan Manuel Marquez’s 2012 knockout of Manny Pacquiao, along with Marco Antonio Barrera’s memorable 2001 win over another famous “lefty” in “Prince” Nassem Hamed.
Hyland featured on the undercard of Marquez’s vicious stoppage victory over Pacquiao in the final chapter of the pair’s four-fight rivalry, while Barrera handed ‘Naz’ his first defeat ever with a roughhouse performance.
“I’ve been watching Marquez with Pacquiao and how he’d fight a southpaw, especially someone that’s coming forward,” explained
Hyland. “This fella [Russell] is going to come at me with his speed and whatever power he thinks he has. I’m studying them [Marquez and Barrera] and how they’d deal with the southpaw coming at them. “I thought Barrera was brilliant against Naz and made him look like an idiot at times,” continued the Dubliner.
“Even the last Marquez-Pacquiao fight, that was just textbook as the opponent is coming into you. Step to the left and bring the right hand over. They always land. “I’ve done that many times against a southpaw and I’ve knocked them out. The only southpaw that ever beat me was [Javier] Fortuna,” added Hyland, referring to his 2012 points loss to the undefeated Dominican.
Hyland is on a four-fight winning run since that defeat against Fortuna at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Having also already fought at the boxing Mecca that is Madison Square Garden, the Dubliner maintains that he has already fulfilled his boxing dreams and, as a result, the 32-year-old insists that there is no pressure heading into tomorrow night’s bout, which is live on Showtime in the US and Sky Sports in Ireland and the UK.
“Everyone was asking me how I was so cool and relaxed coming up to it on such a big occasion. I said, ‘how can it get bigger for me?’ I come from Jobstown and I’m fighting on pay-per-view in Las Vegas. It’s a dream.
“Mike Tyson was slapping me on the back at the weigh-in when I was getting into a row with Fortuna! “What I’ve always wanted to do was fight at Las Vegas and Madison Square Garden. I say to myself, ‘I’ve made it already’. My goal was to fight on the big occasion. “Wearing the belt would be amazing, but I’ve already made it in my mind. That’s why I’m so cool and relaxed,” added Hyland.