Liam Walsh will battle Paul Hyland Jnr for the vacant British lightweight title.
Liam Walsh vs. Paul Hyland Jnr for British lightweight title
Liam Walsh (23-1-0) will take on Paul Hyland Jnr (20-2-0) for the vacant British lightweight title Friday, February 19 presented by MTK Fight Night. It will be available to watch in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank.
Both fighters should be eager to get back in the ring after being absent this past year, when both were coming off very active 2019s. Hyland Jnr was set to fight Terry Flanagan in April of last year but the fight was canceled due to COVID-19. Walsh had a similar circumstance in March and had his own fight canceled in March.
Walsh is coming off two consecutive impressive wins in 2019 after suffering his first professional loss against Gervonta Davis (24-0-0) for the IBF super-featherweight title. If he wins against Hyland Jnr, it will be his second British title after holding the super-featherweight title which he won in 2014.
Hyland Jnr will be attempting to win his first British title. He has not much recent success, going just 2-2 in his last four fights after starting his career with an 18-0 record.
Walsh is the favorite to win the title but Hyland Jnr is very much capable of pulling off the upset, a sentiment echoed by Walsh’s promoter, Lee Eaton.
“Liam has been desperate for a big fight for a while, so it’s great to get him in the ring with Paul Hyland Jnr, who will provide a serious test for him.”
Walsh himself seems excited about the opportunity but isn’t looking past his opponent.
“I know a lot about Paul Hyland Jnr. He is someone I’ve always kept an eye on as I thought our paths might cross one day. I’m expecting a very hard fight.”
Hyland Jnr doesn’t seem fazed by the challenge and said “I know a lot about Paul Hyland Jnr. He is someone I’ve always kept an eye on as I thought our paths might cross one day. I’m expecting a very hard fight.”
Hyland Jnr will have to overcome southpaw Walsh’s power and knockout ability to have a chance. Walsh has a knockout percentage that is nearly 2:1 over Hyland Jnr, so the latter will have to try and tap into his longer reach (by two inches) and keep Walsh at a distance.