By Michael Woods
Patrick Hyland is one of those guys who is impossible to root against.
Always humble and decent on dealing with fans and media and all involved, the 32 year old Irishman doesn't claim a hater even in the vicious world of social media. The humility goes far in establish his cred as a fan fave.
So it's no surprise he is in that same mode as he assesses his chances come March 12, when he meets WBC 126 pound champ Gary Russell Jr in CT, at Mohegan Sun.
“Gary is an outstanding boxer with great hand speed, he's a credit to the art of boxing,” Hyland, promoted by Lou Dibella, told me. “He likes to sit in the pocket, which could be a weaknesses. And yes, I'm the underdog, of course. Gary is the champion and beat a good fighter to win it. I don't mind being underdog, it just makes me want to prove myself even more!
“And people ask me why I fight…I'm fighting to be the best in the world, I'm fighting for my wife Lorna and son, Callum, they mean the world to me,” Hyland said.
It goes without saying that he misses his pop, Paddy Sr, who died in June 2015, weeks before Callum entered the world.
So, tell me what a win does for you and your fine clan…
“Winning the WBC title can financially set up me up to buy a nice house and have money in the bank for Callum's future. Winning the WBC belt would mean the world to me, been boxing since 8 years out. I've put a lot into the sport, to become world champ one day had always been my dream so that would be fulfilled. Also for my Dad, boxing was his life and he showed me everything I know as a boxer!”
I told you, can't not root for the Hyland kid.