Boxing

Paul Hyland closing in on British title challenge

Paul Hyland (left) pictured with MHD Promotions stablemates James Tennyson (centre) and Ronnie Clark (right) hopes to challenge Lewis Ritson in the summer

A LONG-awaited – and deserved – shot at the British lightweight title looks likely to be the summer target for Paul Hyland if he can get past Floyd Moore at Belfast's Europa Hotel on April 14.

Unbeaten Hyland has moved to 17-0 since he made his debut back in 2014 and he has made no secret of his desire to lock horns with reigning British champion Lewis Ritson.

That fight could happen in June if ‘Hylo' can see off heavy-handed two-time British Boxing Board of Control Southern Area champion Moore (15-6-2).

“Paul is all but guaranteed the unavoidable mandatory position for the British Lightweight title should he be victorious on 14th of April,” said manager Mark Dunlop.

Meanwhile, Ronnie ‘The Shark' Clark will also feature on the April 14 bill. Last week Clark ripped the unbeaten record off Zelpha Barrett en route to claiming the vacant IBF European Super Featherweight title at York Hall live on BT Sport.

WBA International super-featherweight champion James Tennyson lines up as he awaits a date for his European Title fight with M J Ward while the exciting Feargal McCrory and Daniel ‘Insane' McShane complete the line up with more names to be added.

“I really can't wait for this show,” added Dunlop.

“It's a fantastic achievement to have three great champions on the bill together not to mention Dan and Feargal who I rate very highly and think the world off. What a line up.”

Tickets: VIP Ringside (£75, including a four-course meal), unreserved £35, reserved ringside (£45). Contact 07712 473905/info@mhdpromotions.com

Meanwhile, Paddy Gallagher will also be in action next month. The Belfast man will fight in the WBC Invitational tournament which will take place in Louisville, Kentucky on April 27.

Welterweight ‘Pat Man' (13-3) will take on Francisco Santana (24-6) in the tournament after being voted in by fans from around the world. Each fight will be scheduled for 10 rounds.

DEONTAY Wilder declared he was ready for Anthony Joshua after coming through his toughest test yet to successfully defend his WBC heavyweight title with a 10th-round knockout of Cuba's Luis Ortiz.

The unbeaten American survived a brutal onslaught in the seventh round on his way to a 40th career victory and seventh title defence at New York's Barclays Centre.

IBF and WBA champion Joshua faces New Zealand's WBO champion Joseph Parker in Cardiff on March 31 and Wilder said he was fed up of just talking about the prospect of facing the Briton.

The 32-year-old said at his post-fight press conference: "How many times do I have to call him out? I've done enough, I've spoken enough. I'm the baddest man on the planet and whenever they're ready I'm going to be ready.

"My goal and my mission is to unify the division. I want to prove to the world I am the best."

Wilder also claimed his victory over the previously unbeaten Ortiz was more impressive than Joshua's defeat of Wladimir Klitschko.

"Wladimir wasn't the king, he was already dethroned," he said. "And really Joshua didn't win that fight, Wladimir lost."

Wilder certainly had to dig deep to see off Ortiz.

The challenger looked to be in control in the opening round, twice catching the champion with his left hand, but Wilder responded with a jab in the second before being forced into a corner.

From there, the crowd began to grow restless and jeered as Wilder struggled to land his punches in what was a slow start for both fighters.

By the fifth, Wilder finally found Ortiz with a right hand across the face which sent the Cuban to the canvas just before the end of the round.

But the seventh round almost proved to be the turning point as Ortiz retaliated with massive left hands, putting his opponent on the ropes and continuing the attack into the eighth.

"He had me in a whirlwind and I had to get out of there," Wilder said afterwards.

The late thriller continued into the next rounds when a knockout seemed to be Wilder's only chance of taking the bout, and a huge right uppercut ensured he produced it in the 10th, sending Ortiz to the floor as the referee waved for the fight to stop.

KELL Brook has his sights set on another world title tilt after marking his light-middleweight debut with a stunning second-round knockout of Sergey Rabchenko at the Sheffield Arena.

Brook's career had stalled after a fruitless jump to middleweight to challenge Gennady Golovkin in September 2016 while a drop back down to welterweight last May saw him lose his IBF crown to Errol Spence Jr.

But he drew a line under those twin defeats in emphatic style by ending the challenge of the rugged Rabchenko within five minutes to send a warning to the top tier of 154lb fighters.

He said: "I'm putting the champions on notice. I'm here and I felt good, anyone getting hit with those (punches) and it's game over.

"I'm aiming for the stars. I'm going to go out and win another world title, you're going to see me perform like this every time."

A showdown with long-term rival Amir Khan, who is now under the same Matchroom promotional banner as Brook, has also been mooted in recent weeks.

Brook added: "I've got no message for him (except to) just enjoy his training and get his wins. That's how me and him are going to happen, we've both got to keep winning and it's going to naturally come together."

Brook feels galvanised by the move to light-middleweight, having decided to go up a division following his much-publicised struggles to make the welterweight limit.

His initial foray proved spectacular against a fighter who had lost only twice in his previous 31 professional outings and who, Brook says, gave him some tough sparring sessions in the past.

But the Belarusian was unable to hit his stride against Brook, who, backed by a buoyant crowd in his home city, wasted little time settling into his stride behind a crisp jab.

The 31-year-old landed many thudding combinations in the opening round before stepping up his attack in the second, with a bruising right uppercut followed by a right to the temple that put Rabchenko on the mat.

Rabchenko was unsteady as he attempted to rise and was counted out just before referee Steve Gray called a halt to proceedings after one minute and 27 seconds of the second round.

Brook said: "I felt good once I got settled, the timing came and the uppercut set everything up and we finished the fight. Obviously I've been out and it's good to get the first tick back and just get settled.

"I felt strong at the heavier weight. The weight's a big thing, imagine taking another seven pounds off me.

“I just felt a lot healthier and when you're getting older (trying to lose weight) takes it out of your legs and body, it's like taking weight off a stone, there's nothing to take off me.

“You can probably get away with it in your 20s but it's so draining (now). It's a big difference.”

JOSH Taylor revealed another string to his bow with an impressive WBC silver super lightweight title win over stand-in opponent Winston Campos at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

The Nicaraguan was a late replacement for veteran Humberto Soto, who was injured while sparring.

However, the 'Tartan Tornado' adapted to the change of challenger with no problem and had Campos down twice in the second round before referee Victor Loughlin called a halt in the next round with Campos struggling again.

Taylor, 27, extended his unbeaten record to 12 fights as his career continues on an upward curve, although he will soon find more capable opponents.

The Prestonpans boxer looked sharp and confident from the first bell, finding his range and delivering some good body shots and although a nervy looking Campos went down just before the first bell it appeared to be more of a push.

Taylor controlled the centre of the ring and dictated the tempo.

He staggered his opponent with a right and then two lefts had Campos down for a count of eight before a right uppercut brought a count of nine from referee Loughlin.

Campos did not look to have the appetite for the battle and when he went down again, Loughlin gave him another count before calling a halt to proceedings with only 44 seconds gone of round three.

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