Boxing


Freddie Roach Backs Irish Lightening, Dean Byrne to become Word Champ

Jonny Stapleton - The greatest boxing trainer in the world, Freddie Roach has backed little known Irish puncher, Dean Byrne to win a world title and to become as big as Irish superstar Bernard Dunne. So impressed is Roach with Byrne that the trainer, who mentors pound for pound ring King Manny Pac-Man" Pacquiao and British prospect Amir Khan, has decided to co-manage as well as train the Crumlin native. And if the boxing trainer of the year for 2003, 2006 and 2008 other furors into management are anything to go by Byrne looks set for the top..

Roach has only opted to both train and manage four other fighters and all four have ended up with world straps.

The Wild Card Gym owner has every intention of maintaining his unblemished record and making in five world champions out of five, and has tipped Byrne to equal the achievements of his fellow Dubliner Bernard Dunne.

Speaking from the Wild Card Gym yesterday, Roach, who’s CV reads like a whose who in boxing boasting names like Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Michael Moorer and Bernard Hopkins as well as Irish World Champion Steve Collins, Wayne McCullough and Bernard Dunne, said he was confident Byrne would challenge for a world title.

“We had Dean in to spar Manny and he impressed us and things took of from there. You could see he had a bright future ahead of him so we took him on. Obviously we have great faith in him. He trains very hard and gives 100%, you have to in this gym or you are out.

“The short term goal is an Irish title but we are confident Dean can challenge for a world title one day. He is a great prospect. He is learning a lot and we are working hard with him. He has sparred with Pacquaio and done well. He held his own with Pacquaio,” Roach explained before comparing Byrne to Irish boxing superstar Dunne.

“I think Dean is just as good as Bernard Dunne he has a bright future. I think they are similar in ways. They are good characters, real nice people and talented boxers. I have only managed four fighters and they have all been World Champions. Dean is the fifth fighter I have managed and it’s fair to say I expect similar big things from him.”

Undefeated Byrne, who ended up in Wild Card via a stint fighting in Australia, emphasised the world title goal and also expressed his delight that Roach has decided to co-manage him along side Steve Feder.

“It is great over here in this gym. It’s like a home away from home and its packed full of talent. Training with Freddie Roach is amazing as is sparing Khan and Pacquaio. I am always confident in my ability, but having Freddie Roach sign a five year co-managers deal with you only adds to that confident. Just training with Freddie motivates you. You are always keen to impress him. I have always worked hard but I am pushing myself more now,” Byrne said after a tough session in the Wild Card Gym.

“I have always dreamed of being world champion and that’s the goal now. I can’t wait to be world champion. I don’t just train to be world champ I live to be champion of the world. I live, eat, train and even sleep like a world champion’” he concluded

Article posted on 05.07.2009



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