In one of the most anticipated all-Irish bouts of the year, Jay Byrne and Crank Whiteouse finally met in the ring for the Celtic welterweight title on Celtic Clash 4 last Saturday. Going against the odds yet again, Jay Byrne turned in a sensational performance and stayed true to his word to emphatically stop Whitehouse in round 4.
It was a performance that Byrne was happy with but not surprised by –
“To be honest, I’ve only ever had 2 fights at welter before, stopping one of them. So, in the buildup I’ve been feeling really good and natural at the weight. In the last 6-8 weeks I knocked out 3 guys in sparring. So my power has really come on.
Looking back at the bout, ‘The Negotiator’ said everything went to plan –
“The idea was to get in there and suss him out for a round or so. Then get under his skin a bit and wind him up. I wanted to take him into the middle rounds, push him back and then get to work, so during round 3 Deco said to me to start bringing in the right hand and some combo’s we’ve been working on.
That followed on to round 4, I could see I hurt him but I didnt want to gas out going for broke, so I took my time and landed some nice uppercut’s that worked a treat and threw the right hand again right over the top which done the business.
“At the end of the day, Ger’s a good fighter, and I’ve no badness or grudge towards him and I’ve nothing but respect for him. But for me, I was there to do a job and I think I done that and stayed professional throughout the buildup.”
With the win and the Celtic title to his name, Jay is happy with what hes achieved in the sort and says he’ll wait until the new year before the decides on his future –
“At the moment I dont know what the plan is. I can happily walk away from the sport right now with what I’ve achieved. If I decide to stay obviously im the one with the belt that these guys coming through are aiming for, but I’ve done the hard road and put in the hard graft so they’ll have to work their way up to get to me.
“Obviously the Irish title is there and that’s something I could go for, but il sit down in the new year and weigh it up and see where I go from here, I just want to enjoy this and enjoy the break with the family right now.”
The future is certainly bright for ‘The Negotiator’. As one of the good guys in Irish boxing and one of the most popular fighters, hopefully he will decide to fight on.