POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (April 4, 2012) - Following the path paved by former world champion Wayne "Pocket Rocket" McCullough, unbeaten super featherweight prospect Patrick "The Punisher" Hyland has crossed the Atlantic from his native Dublin to pursue his boxing dream in America.
Hyland (25-0, 11 KOs), now living in Marlboro (NY), leads the May 12th "Irish Invasion" card, presented by Final Round Promotions in association with Team Snooki Boxing and Bob Duffy's Ring Promotions, at Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York.
The 28-year-old Hyland, the reigning World Boxing Federation ("WBF") super featherweight champion, is rated No. 12 by the North American Boxing Association ("NABA"). He faces an opponent to soon be announced in the eight-round main event May 12.
Like McCullough, as well as Andy Lee, John Duddy and Kevin McBride before him, Hyland moved to the United States from the Emerald Isle, along with his brothers, Eddie and Paul, who've since returned home to continue boxing in Dublin.
"I felt like coming here was best for my professional boxing career," Hyland said. "America has the biggest stages - Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas - and television networks for boxing. I used to stay up all night to watch fights on HBO and Showtime. Top sparring is here, too, because there are so many good fighters here. To be the best, you have to mix it up with the best.
"Marlboro is so different from Dublin. It's big with wide-open spaces and so much wildlife, unlike Dublin, where people live on top of each other. It's quiet here and ideal for training because there are no distractions. I really like it here and, since moving here last September, I've got some good friends. I hang with my strength-and-conditioning coach, Dominic Tominelli, and his friends. We go golfing, too.
"My brothers went back home to Ireland, but I like being on my own. I've become more independent. My brothers fought on the same card as me in Atlantic City. It will be a bit weird May 12th without one of them fighting on the same card. Either Eddie or Paul has fought on the same card in my last 10 fights. My father (Patrick, Sr.) will be in my corner, though, as second to my trainer, (former two-division world champion) Tracy Patterson."
Hyland describes himself as a boxer-puncher who prefers to fight in the blood-and-guts style associated with Irish fighters, but he's smart enough to understand that the best way for him to accomplish his goal of becoming world champion is to be a boxer-puncher.
"I'm long and rangy," Hyland added. "I modeled myself, a little, watching Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. I can stand and go toe-to-toe, or box, so I've become more of a complete fighter working with Tracy. We've worked on bobbing and weaving, speed for my shots, movement, and inside fighting. He hasn't changed me too much other than from a typical European to more of a American-style fighter.
"I was a five-time Irish amateur champion and represented my country all over the world. I've from an Irish wave of amateurs I - Andy Lee, John Duddy, Mathew Macklin and David Price - who've all done well in the pros. My goal is be world champion. I believe I'm close to getting a shot, maybe two or three big fights away from being ready to fight for the world title."
Although still handled in Ireland by Brian Peters, Hyland is working with Final Round Promotions and Team Snooki Boxing in the US. "(Final Round Promotions) Brian (Burke) and Mike (Pascale) have done a good job for me," Hyland noted. "I've had one fight in Atlantic City (WDEC8 vs. Emmanuel Lucero, Jan. 28) and my second is coming on May 12 in Poughkeepsie. Even with the economy the way it is they're keeping me busy.
"Coming here is all about boxing and getting onboard with Team Snooki Boxing, hopefully, can help bring the entertainment side to boxing. Different people will be watching and see that boxing isn't just a sport, it's about people and entertainment."
2008 National Golden Gloves champion Steve Martinez (11-1, 9 KOs), a super middleweight from the Bronx, will be fighting in the In the six-round co-feature, while Canadian light welterweight Natasha Spencer (3-0-1, 2 KOs) faces Racquel Bailey (1-1-1) in a six-round female match.
Also fighting on the undercard in separate four-round bouts are undefeated Newburgh light welterweight favorite Treysean Wiggins (3-0, 3 KOs), New York City light middleweight Valdrin Muriqi (2-1), Yonkers (NY) super featherweight Chazz McDowell (5-1, 1 KOs) and former USA Mid-American middleweight champion Bryant "The Spartan" Pappas (13-0-1, 13 KOs), and unbeaten Poughkeepsie heavyweight Detroy Jones (5-0-1, 2 KOs).
Pappas, a sergeant in the Yonkers Police Department, is a cancer survivor who is donating his purse to cancer research. Team Snooki Boxing is donating $1.00 from each sold ticket to Rolling Thunder, Chapter III New York to support needy U.S. military veterans.
Tickets, reasonably priced at $35.00, $50.00 and $100 (Gold Ringside), are available to purchase at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center and through all Ticketmaster outlets.
Doors open at 6:30 PM/ET with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 PM/ET. Go to www.finalroundpromotions.com for additional information.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV