Patrick "The Punisher" Hyland will look to stretch his unbeaten run to 23 straight wins and capture the WBF world featherweight title in the process when he takes on France's Philippe Frenois at the National Stadium in Dublin this Saturday. The bout headlines an action packed night at the home of Irish boxing on the South Circular road with the event being promoted by Patrick Hyland senior.
It's a massive night for father and son but both are confident that it will be a successful one. "It's the biggest fight of my career and the prize on the line has made me push even harder in the gym," said Hyland Junior. "For this fight I've been doing a lot of strength and conditioning work with Joe Clifford and I've really found the benefits of it. I feel really strong at the weight. I've found it a lot easier to make the 9 stone limit this time around and there is also a real snap to my punches. It's been a hard 8 week camp but preparations couldn't have gone any better so I'm itching to get in there now."
The Tallaght native is also looking forward to returning to the National Stadium. "I've always loved fighting at the Stadium, as a professional I won the Irish title there against Paul Griffin and defended it against Mickey Coveney. Both of those fights were knockouts so it would be nice to keep that run going but Frenois has never been stopped so I'm more than ready to go 12 hard rounds and if the stoppage comes it's a bonus. I've seen a few of his fights and he's a tall, rangy guy who likes to stand up and box but I'm confident that I can get to him and start breaking him down. His only defeats have come against good, undefeated fighters and he's been mixing in very good company so it's a good test for me."
For his father Patrick it's also a huge night with sons Paul and Eddie also returning to action on the card which also features an Irish Middleweight title fight. "It will be a busy night with my own lads and some of our amateur boxers are kicking off the show with 3 amateur fights," said Hyland Snr. "The chief support will be the Irish Middleweight title fight between Spike O'Sullivan and Robbie Long. That will be a cracker and you have another all Irish fight on the bill with Brendan Fitzpatrick from Finglas taking on Belfast's Ciaran Healy and then you have two other undefeated lads on the bill as well in Stephen Ormond and Finbarr Eade.
"Patrick will be the main attraction and although people say that the WBF is not one of the bigger titles the likes of Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones Jnr. have held that belt so that's not bad company to be keeping. Frenois is a quality opponent for Patrick. He's only one place behind him in the European ratings so that shows you that it's a 50-50 fight on paper and once Patrick comes through we will be looking at Patrick possibly defending the belt against some big names."
Hyland's manager Brian Peters believes that the 27 year old will be firing on all cylinders on Saturday night. "This is an opportunity for Patrick to step up to title level with a good 12 round contest. He did the 12 rounds in Dublin a few years ago when he won the IBF International title and that experience will stand to him this weekend. It's an opportunity to test himself again over the championship distance against a quality opponent. Patrick isn't afraid to test himself against the best and this is an opportunity for him to put in an eye catching performance and make a big statement."
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