Light welterweight Dean Byrne (10-0, 4 KOs), will fight Jose Reynoso (10-2, 1 KO) in an eight round contest this Friday night at the South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.
Byrne is trained by Freddie Roach, who also trains Manny Pacquiao, the number one pound-for pound superstar who is fighting Ricky Hatton this Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Vegas.
“I’m so proud he’s my trainer. He says I got it and I’m going to prove that to him and me. I really can’t wait until this fight in Las Vegas and I’m trained by Manny’s trainer,” said the Crumlin native earlier this week.
“It’s going to be a weekend of celebration. I’m not going to go out and jump on this guy (Reynoso). I want to show everybody what I can do – box! I’m starting to bring it on hard. On fight night I won’t be wearing headgear and big gloves. It’s a different feeling with the 8-ounze gloves and no headgear. I can’t wait to feel the power."
The Dubliner has had a short but extremely varied professional boxing career. Byrne was meant to fight on The Erin go Brawl II card on March 16, but the promotion was canceled because of poor ticket sales.
After a successful amateur career during which he won the intermediate light welterweight title and represented Ireland, Byrne was spotted by respected Aussie trainer Johnny Lewis fighting for an Irish selection against an Australian selection.
Byrne, who is a cousin of Australia-based Irish pro Paul Griffin, subsequently moved to Sydney to train with Lewis (who in his career has trained Kostya Tszyu and Jeff Fenech) and made his pro debut in February 2006.
Just four fights later he became Australian light welterweight champion after soundly beating the then undefeated Chris McMullen over ten rounds. After defending the title once he decided that he had gone as far as he could Down Under and upped sticks to Hollywood, California.
Byrne had what amounted to a trial in Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym where he sparred, ironically enough, rugged Aussie lightweight Michael Katsidis.
The 24-year-old did enough to impress Roach and has been with the gym ever since, making his U.S. Debut in May 2008 and rattling off three wins thereafter, his last coming on December 20 when he tko’ed Francisco Rios Gil in the fourth round.
“I came here to get more experience and to better myself,” Byrne told IrisnCentral in March. Working with the three-time trainer of the year Roach (who has also trained Irish fighters Steve Collins and Wayne McCullough over the years) has had a huge effect on him.
“I have a lot more confidence now. I was in Australia and in my six fights there I had one knockout, but since I’ve come here (to the States) I’ve had a lot of knockouts. I have been sitting down on my shots and not looking for the big shot, but letting it come. It has worked out really well.”
Trainer Freddie Roach is happy with how his charge is developing. “He’s a tough kid who is a really good fighter but doesn’t know it yet. He’s learning to sit-down on his punches and has had two knockouts since he’s been with me,” Roach said of Byrne in March before the canceled New York fight.
“Dean’s learned a lot sparring with Manny (Pacquiao), Amir (Khan) and the others. He’s a lot of fun to watch, very exciting and clever for a young man. Early in his career he fought 10 rounds for the Australian title, so he already has that experience. He’s one of my best prospects.”