Over three years have passed since Bernard Dunne lost his European Super Bantamweight title in such dramatic fashion to Kiko “La Sensacion” Martinez but the belt will once again be up for grabs in Dublin his weekend when the Spanish KO artist returns to contest the belt with French based Armenian Arsen Martyrosian as part of a European title double header at The National Stadium this Saturday on the Hunky Dorys Fight Night.
One Dubliner taking a keener interest than most in the proceedings will be Paul Hyland, the reigning European Union and Irish Champion and the man seen by many Irish fight fans as the natural successor to Dunne at Super Bantamweight.
Hyland will have his own battle to contend with on Saturday as he takes on American veteran, Robert DaLuz over 8 scheduled rounds on the undercard but the 25-year-old from Tallaght would clearly relish a shot at the winner of Martinez – Martyrosian.
That's going to be a good, competitive fight but I won't be paying too much attention to it on Saturday because I'm just focused on my own fight,” said Hyland. “I don't really mind who wins but I suppose I would lean towards Kiko because at the press conference for the show last month he shook my hand and promised me a shot if he won and it would nice to gain revenge for Ireland by taking the European title back off him. I met Bernard recently as well and had a chat with him about it and I know he'll be there on the night working for RTÉ.
“Obviously everybody knows that Kiko is a good puncher so of course you need to be very careful for the first few rounds but I think he runs out of ideas after three or four rounds. He just keeps trying the left hook and right hands over and over again but without the same effect. I'd be very confident of beating him if that fight comes off but we both have to get this weekend out of the way first.”
Hyland is keen to ensure that he doesn't get side tracked by talk of European titles and maintain's his focus on beating DaLuz on Saturday. “I've watched a little bit of him and and he's like Kiko in as much that he normally comes flying out of the traps for the first few rounds. He's a guy that will come to win and he fights with a typical American style but I've experience of that from the fights I've had in the U.S. so it won't phase me.
"He's a good opponent and he's hardly ever been stopped so I'll be prepared to go the distance and if the stoppage comes, it comes. Boxing in the ring at the National Stadium is like boxing in the living room at home for me, it's so familiar to me and I can't see anyone giving me any problems in there.”
Another man who Hyland insists is unlikely to cause him any problems is Limerick's Prizefighter Champion, Willie “Big Bang” Casey. The undefeated southpaw is another man eyeing a shot of the winner of Martinez – Martyrosian but Hyland sees no reason for civil war to break out just yet.
“That's all just newspaper talk as far as I'm concerned and I'm only interested in going forwards and not backwards in my career. At the moment fighting Willie would be a backward step for me and he doesn't have anything I need so unless that changes I don't see that fight happening.”
Hyland believes that a European title victory could put him on the fast track to a World title shot in 2011. “All going well at the weekend I'm hoping to fight again in November, stay busy and get that European title shot.
"There are a lot of things happening at Super Bantamweight right now on the European scene and then you have the likes of Jason Booth and Rendall Munroe fighting for World titles over the next couple of months so who knows what could open up after that but for now it's all about doing the business on Saturday and taking it one step at a time.”
The main event on Saturday will see Brian Magee make the first defence of his European Super Middleweight title against Roman Aramian with the Lisburn southpaw just one fight from a World title shot having recently been installed as the WBA's number 1 challenger at Super Middleweight.
A third title bout on the card will see Dubliner's Anthony Fitzgerald and Robbie Long square off as they look to complete a trilogy that has already thrilled Irish fight fans with both men having one win a piece. This time around, Fitzgerald's Irish Super Middleweight title will be on the line.
There will be further Dublin interest on the card with Castleknock's Gavin Prunty and Brendan Fitzpatrick from Finglas also in action alongside reigning Irish Heavyweight champ, Coleman Barrett from Galway.
The 9 fight card also features undefeated Cork based Cuban's Alexei Acosta and Luis Garcia although their compatriot, heavyweight Mike Perez has been forced off the card through illness.
Tickets for the Hunky Dorys Fight Night priced €40, €75 and €100 are available from Ticketmaster.ie / 0818 719300 or the National Stadium on 087 2511772, the Ticket Office on 086 8120135 or the boxers on the bill.
Boxing News Tags: Barrett, Bernard Dunne, Boxing, Brendan Fitzpatrick, European Union, Fight, Heavyweight, Ireland, Luis Garcia, National Stadium, One Dubliner, Paul, Perez, Rendall Munroe, Roman Aramian, RT, Super Bantamweight, Super Middleweight, Ticket Office, WBA