By Ryan Maquiñana
Unbeaten featherweight Patrick Hyland enters Saturday’s interim world title showdown with rising Dominican Javier Fortuna as a heavy underdog, but the Irishman’s manager believes in his fighter.
“The first couple rounds will be tough, but after that, the fight will be interesting,” Brian Peters told BoxingScene.com. “The pressure is all on Fortuna, not us, and I know Patrick can win this fight.”
The 23-year-old Fortuna (20-0, 15 KOs) is coming off an impressive second-round stoppage of former beltholder Cristobal Cruz and is attempting to make the jump from super prospect to world titlist. Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Hyland (27-0, 12 KOs) has won his last three fights on the East Coast since arriving stateside under the co-promotional banner of Snooki Boxing and Final Round Promotions.
“Sure, we’re going up in class a couple levels faster than we would have liked, but Top Rank gave us a great opportunity, and [trainer] Tracy Patterson has him prepared and ready to go,” said Peters, who also steers the career of middleweight contender Matthew Macklin among others. “I know Patrick is aware of how big this fight is, and he’s definitely shown it in the gym.”
The fight will take place on the HBO Pay-Per-View televised portion of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez 4 undercard this Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.