Unbeaten featherweight Patrick Hyland (24-0) has moved to Marlboro, New York, to pursue his world title dreams after signing a promotional contract with Final Round Promotions and Nicole Polizzi, aka Jersey Shore’s Snooki.
“Snooki is a partner with Final Round Promotions and they will be promoting the shows,” Hyland told the Irish Voice on Monday night.
The unlikely combination came about because Brian Burke and Mike Pascale of Final Round Promotions are close friends with Snooki’s father Andy, who, according to Hyland caught the boxing bug and got his celebrity daughter involved.
Hyland, 28, is at a critical stage in his career. After going as far as he could in Ireland, he decided to make the move to the U.S.
“Well, I thought to myself that I am 24-0 and the place to be fighting is in the states, so when I got offered the contract I jumped at it,” he added. Tracy Patterson, the former two-weight world champion and son of heavyweight champion Floyd
Patterson, is training Hyland over here, though come fight night his father Patrick Sr. will also work the corner. Patrick’s brothers, Eddie and Paul, are also professional fighters who have made sojourns to the U.S. during their respective careers.
The Shamrock Rovers fan was slated to fight in early December, but that date fell through and he is now likely to fight in mid-January. Consequently, Hyland has had to scale down his two-a-day training sessions so as not to peak too early.
“The show before Christmas fell through, but these things happen and I have to stay professional,” he added.
Hyland went on to say that one unintended benefit of the delay is that he will have more time to develop his relationship with Patterson. The two have been working on a few things to hone the Irishman’s skills.
“We’ve been working on my speed in combination punching. Sometimes I tense up and try to throw heavy-handed punches, but he is trying to get me to get off the line quicker and twist more into shots,” said Hyland.
Hyland, who is managed by Brian Peters, hopes to fight in a 10-rounder in January to get the next stage of his career going. Stay tuned for more on the Dubliner’s preparations for his New Year assignment.
In other news concerning a U.S.-based professional boxer from Dublin, boxing fans might have noticed none other than unbeaten light welterweight Jamie Kavanagh (8-0) feature on episode two of 24/7 Pacquiao vs. Marquez on HBO last weekend.
Kavanagh was shown sparring with Pacquiao, who clearly was not holding back on the power shots, in a segment in the show. The Irishman was able to give a firsthand description of what Juan Manuel Marquez can expect on fight night come November 12.
“There is a bit more venom in his punches. He seems to be spot on,” Kavanagh said after one particularly tough sparring session at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
The 21-year-old cannot put a price on the experience he is gaining from sparring with “Pacman.” Kavanagh is expected to fight next on the Amir Khan/Lamont Peterson undercard on December 10 in Washington, D.C. More on Kavanagh in the coming weeks.
Finally, Dean Byrne's gamble to take a fight against Frank Haroche Horta on 24 hours notice did not pay off when he retired after eight rounds of action.
Byrne, who defeated Michael Frontin on October 21, decided to fill the breach after Frankie Gavin pulled out of the fight against the Frenchman. However, Horta got the better of the Dubliner on the night and handed him his first defeat as a professional.