PATRICK HYLAND GOES FOR WIN 26 ON SATURDAY
By Rob Soucy
On Saturday “Team Snooki Boxing” featuring reality show star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and father Andy, embark on their second pro boxing event at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York. Featherweight Patrick “The Punisher” Hyland (25-0 with 11KOs), will look to take another step toward a major fight. Hyland, who came to the United States from Dublin, Ireland, will take on Frankie Archuleta (27-9-1 with 14 KOs) in the ten-round main event.
“It is a dream come true for me to fight in the U.S.,” beamed Hyland. “I feel that I am getting more recognition now. I’ve got a former world champion and world class trainer in Tracey Patterson in my corner as well as Team Snooki Boxing and Final Round Promotions behind me.” If Hyland is to compete at the world class level it needs to be soon. He holds the lightly regarded WBF 130-pound belt but is still relatively unknown because of a lack of exposure after having only fought in the Unites States four times.
Usually, when a fighter is classified as a “prospect,” he is in his early 20’s while still learning the sport and maturing into a grown man. However, Hyland is 28 years old and in his prime so the time for him to advance his career is now. “We would like to fight for a world title within the next year,” said Mike Pascale of Final Round Promotions. “Patrick is so dedicated to this sport, he’s ready now.” Hyland’s trainer Tracey Patterson agrees. “Patrick has world class skills and is an opportunity away from winning a world championship. I’d like to see him take care of business at 126 pound and then move up to 130 for bigger fights,” added Patterson.
Hyland says that he is ready for any fighter at the top of the featherweight division. “I have a lot of respect for the guy at the top right now, [WBO champion] Orlando Salido,” said Hyland. "He was classified as sort of a journeyman at one time but now is considered the best, my hat goes off to him.” Besides Salido, Hyland would love to get a shot at Billy Dib who holds the IBF featherweight title. “Billy Dib beat me as an amateur so I’d like another crack at him.”
Whether or not Hyland is ready for the top level remains to be seen, but having the backing of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi can only help. However, a lack of big fight experience can ruin a prospect if he is thrown into the wrong fight too soon. It is very important to Hyland and his team that he has a trainer in Patterson that has been there as well as understands the game inside out. “Patrick is ready for either champion, a lot of times the fighter who wants it more will win and this kid wants it extremely bad,” said Patterson. “Whether it’s Orlando Salido or Billy Dib, they will be in for a hard night.”
Hyland likes to think of himself as a boxer puncher with good punching power but when asked about his greatest asset he echoed the sentiments of those around him. “My biggest asset is my determination and will to win,” Hyland stated proudly. “I have an extreme desire to be a world champion and I can adapt to any style in the ring. I have a trainer that pushes me in the gym and can take me to that next level. My dad is second in command in my corner and provides a calming presence that he has been with me my whole career.”
Archuleta is best known for having beaten former five-time world champion Johnny Tapia and could give Hyland a tough fight. However, he isn’t the opponent that will provide Hyland with that stepping stone win on his way to a world title opportunity. The difference in level of talent between Archuleta and the top of the division is huge, something that Hyland’s people will have to address in his next fight.
Now that Hyland has relocated to New York it would serve him best to get a step- up fight on American television. A win over an Elio Rojas type, who was recently competitive in a loss to WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez, would catapult Hyland to that next level. Rojas is fighting out of Brooklyn and it seems like a fight that could be easily made.
As for now, Hyland has to deal with Archuleta and that is the only thing on his mind. “I expect a tough fight on Saturday but expect to win. I don’t overlook or take any opponent for granted though,” said Hyland. “I’ve been running 8-10 miles four days a week as well as doing strength and conditioning to increase my explosiveness. I do my boxing training six days a week for over two hours, so I’m ready for anything that he can bring on Saturday.”
The Hyland-Archuleta battle headlines “Irish Invasion” on Saturday May 12th in Poughkeepsie, NY. Fans can catch a glimpse of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi as she continues her venture in the sport of boxing. As long as Patrick Hyland keeps winning everything will be lining up perfectly for Team Snooki. Meanwhile, Frankie Archuleta will be doing his best to keep Patrick Hyland and Nicole Polizzi from the sport’s biggest stage. But don’t count on it.
Follow Rob Soucy on Twitter at @WKUTKO.