Unbeaten Dublin Featherweight Patrick “The Punisher” Hyland heads to London this weekend as he bids to extend his perfect record to 22 and 0 when he takes on Daniel Kodjo Sassou on the undercard to the Darren Barker – Domenico Spada European Middleweight title fight in the Olympia on Saturday night.
The 27-year-old Tallaght native says he will be looking to impress UK fight fans on his third appearance in London. "I had a couple of fights there at the start of my career but obviously I've improved a lot since then so I'm looking forward to putting on a good show there and show people what I'm about."
Kodjo Sassou is coming off a run of fights with the UK's brightest prospects having extended Ricky Hatton's protege Scott Quigg the full 12 rounds and dropping a points decision to Olympian Joe Murray. However on his last visit to the UK the French based Togolese fighter scored a stoppage win over the highly touted and previously unbeaten Rhys Roberts but Hyland is determined that he won't slip up on Saturday.
"I watched his fight with Joe Murray and he acquitted himself very well." said Hyland. "He's a tough, hard man and he has a reputation for pulling off upsets, obviously he's just coming off that win over Roberts and his last big win before that was when he upset Arsen Martirosyan to win the IBF International title but I don't think he will have met too many as strong as me so I'm confident that I can get the right result. Obviously I will be looking to impress but the main thing is to get your hand raised at the end of the fight and get another win under the belt."
Hyland was hoping to enter 2011 as European Featherweight Champion but the current champion, Sofiane Takoucht turned down a lucrative offer to come to Ireland at the end of last year to defend his title against Hyland. However the Frenchman remains very much in Hyland's sights.
"He turned down a very good offer to fight me last year and he hasn't defended his title since so I'm not sure why he has been so inactive but given the chance I would be happy to relieve him of his belt. He's a tall southpaw and he's obviously a good fighter but I've knocked out every southpaw I've faced in the pro's so I'd be confident of doing the same with him."
First though "The Punisher" will have to deal with this weekend's assignment and he's confident of living up to his ring moniker. "I always liked the ring to it that 'The Punisher' had. I used to get the Punisher comics and watched the films. As a boxer you are always looking to punish your opponent for the mistakes they make in the ring so it seemed like a natural for me and the name has stuck so now it's up to me to live up to it."
Hyland recently joined the Twitter revolution (@Pajpunisher) and he's hoping to gain a few more followers from the UK following his fight this weekend. "It's good to get your name out there and using Twitter certainly helps with that. You can also keep up with all the other boxers out there and see what they are up to. It's always comforting to know that you're not the only one pounding the roads when it seems like everyone else is still sleeping!