Patrick Hyland announces retirement
Former featherweight title challenger Patrick Hyland has announced his retirement from the sport – 12 years to the day after he made his pro debut.
The 33-year-old from Dublin made the announcement on Twitter, ending a career which brought him from fighting in small venues in Ireland to fighting for titles at American casinos.
“I can retire happy in the knowledge that I tested myself against some of the very best in the sport on the biggest of stages,” said Hyland (31-3, 15 knockouts), who adds that fighting Javier Fortuna for the interim WBA featherweight title on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV card at the MGM Grand and headlining a card last March against Manuel de los Reyes Herrera at The Theater at Madison Square Garden “are the stuff of most boxers’ dreams but I got to live it and I [enjoyed] every minute of it.”
Hyland won his first 27 bouts before coming stateside under the promotion of Snooki Boxing, headed by reality star Nicole Polizzi, and later Dibella Entertainment. Hyland came into the 2012 showdown with unbeaten Dominican fighter Fortuna as a significant underdog but managed to keep the fight close and absorb Fortuna’s blows before losing a unanimous decision.
He followed that performance up with four straight wins before facing WBC featherweight titleholder Gary Russell Jr. It was the biggest fight of his career, and just the second since his father Patrick Hyland Sr. had committed suicide in 2015.
“I owe everything to him, from day one he showed me everything I know and the last year has been so hard without him since he passed,” Hyland writes.
Hyland was stopped in two rounds by Russell in April after being knocked down three times, then lost to unbeaten prospect Josh Warrington in nine rounds in July after missing weight by over two pounds.
“Fighting…Gary Russell for the world title and another world class talent in Josh Warrington would have been difficult at any time but without my Dad in my corner those tasks were made even harder,” Hyland said of his motivating force, who was present in his corner for all of his fights until his death alongside head trainer Tracy Harris Patterson.
“It’s now time for me to focus on family,” said Hyland, who is expecting his second child.
“Of course I will miss being a boxer and especially the buzz of fight night and stepping through those ropes.
“But the 6:00 a.m. runs on freezing, dark mornings in the middle of winter…not so much!”