Dean Byrne (11-0,4 KOs) is itching to fight after his opponent for last Saturday’s fight at the Agua Caliente in Rancho Mirage, California pulled out at the last second to leave him stranded and causing his bout to be scrapped.
“I was ready to go, ready to fight and was on weight and everything. They tried their hardest (to get a replacement), but it was so late and they had to put it back for another date," Byrne told the Irish Voice on Monday.
Though disappointed that the fight fell through, all the hard work in the gym may not be in vain for the Freddie Roach–trained fighter, as he may be in the ring in the next few weeks.
“There are a couple of dates, my manager was telling me. Gary Shaw wants to put me on (a card) the 24th, but Golden Boy (promotions) want to take a look at me on the 30th at the end of the month.”
Byrne and his team (Roach trains and co-manages Byrne with Steven Feder) are doing the rounds with promoters to work out a deal.
It has been almost a year since Byrne last saw competitive action in the squared circle, but outside the ring the 25-year-old has been busy with life.
“I broke my hand and had to take a couple of months off to let it heal and get stronger, and I went back to Ireland and took care of my visa,” he said.
The highlight of Byrne’s year out was becoming the proud father of “little Deano,” and once the hand healed he was busy staying in shape with former manager Phil Sutcliffe at Crumlin Boxing Club in Dublin.
Byrne sparred with Oisin Fagan in preparation for his fight with Andy Murray and also spent time in England sparring. Once he got back to the Wild Card gym in Hollywood, it was straight back to business with Roach.
Byrne has sparred with Amir Kahn in recent days and is helping the Briton prepare for his fight with Paulie Malignaggi on May 15. He has also done some good contact work with Alejandro Perez and Shawn Porter.
For now, Byrne will focus on his career here for the next few bouts, but he would like to fight in his hometown soon.
“I’d be really interested in fighting at home toward the end of the year when I am a bigger face,” he says.
“Everybody wants to see me at home because they have heard a lot about me,” added Byrne who started his professional career in Sydney and won the Australian light welterweight title before heading to Los Angeles.
“But first things first, I want to get my feet wet and get back into the swing of things here and get a few fights under my belt.”
Whatever fight he has next is tantamount to a trial with a big promoter, and if he can secure a deal with a prominent company then his career could really take off.
Is Byrne worried about carrying a little ring rust into his next fight? Not in the least.
“If you had seen me sparring, you wouldn’t think I had a year off. I am looking good and raring to go,” he said.
In other news, it has been confirmed that middleweight Andy Lee (20-1, 14 KOs) will fight on May 15 at the University Arena in Limerick. Lee told the Irish Voice a few weeks ago that the deal was almost done a few weeks back and now the date is set. No opponent has been confirmed for the New York –based Limerick native.
Finally, it was a mixed night for the two Irish fighters in Toronto last Thursday night. Dundalk lightweight Michael Kelly (8-1, 2 KOs) lost a unanimous decision to Canadian lightweight Buzz Grant (9-3, 3 KOs), while Limerick featherweight Willie Casey (5-0, 4 KOs) had a great win when he tko’ed Tyson Cave (10-1, 2 KOs) in the eighth round.
Why all Irish men’s beards are red