Unbeaten light welterweight Dean “Irish Lightning” Byrne’s dream to fight in New York is only delayed, not shattered, after the recent announcement that “Erin Go Brawl II,” scheduled for March 16 at WaMu Theater in Madison Square Garden, had been canceled. Byrne (10-0, 4 KOs), fighting out of Los Angeles by way of Dublin, was supposed to fight in an eight-round bout on the card headlined by his friend, Andy Lee, and featuring his hero, Wayne McCullough. Dean, who has Freddie Roach as his trainer, works out at Roach’s famed Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, where he has sparred with Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Juan Marquez.
“I was very disappointed,” Byrne said about not fighting Mar. 16 in New York City. “I was looking forward to fighting in front of so many Irish at Madison Square Garden in New York City. A lot of my family were coming over from Ireland and booked flights. It was a big opportunity for us because they’ve never seen me fight as a pro. Hey, that’s boxing and someday I’ll fight there. I want people in New York, all up and down the East Coast where there’s a lot of Irish – Boston and Philadelphia – to see what a good entertainer I am.
“Freddie gave me the weekend off and I was back in the gym on Monday. I’ll continue training hard and hopefully I’ll be in a fight soon, maybe the end of March or in April. Someday, though, I’ll be fighting in Madison Square Garden.”
Byrne had more than 200 amateur fights, winning an Irish National title, and he turned pro in Australia, where he captured the New South Wales State belt on only his fourth pro fight, and one fighter later added the Australian crown in a 10-rounder. On his way from Australia to relocate in Boston, Dean stopped in Los Angeles and trained at World Card, where Roach took a shine to him. “He’s a tough kid who is a really good fighter but doesn’t know it yet,” Roach spoke about Byrne. “He’s learning to sit-down on his punches and has had two knockouts since he’s been with me. Dean’s learned a lot sparring with Manny, Amir and the others. He’s a lot of fun to watch, very exciting and cleaver for a young man. Early in his career he fought ten rounds for the Australian title, so he already has that experience. He’s one of my best prospects.”
Byrne last fought in December, when he registered a win by fourth-round technical knockout against Francisco Rios Gil (13-8) in Inglewood, California.
“One of Dean’s most important dreams is to fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City,” Bryne’s manager Steven Feder (Standing Eight Management) remarked. “Ever since we started working together, Dean has told me that coming from Ireland and traveling around the world, his dream was to fight in Madison Square Garden. He was excited about fighting in an Irish community. We feel bad for Irish Ropes. Dean was looking forward to fighting on their card with Andy and Wayne. It’s too bad things didn’t work out for that show. Dean Byrne has a clear shot at really making it big in boxing. He’s 10-0 and ready to go. He never had a 4-round fight, starting with a six and going right to eights and then tens. Fans love him and Irish fans on the East Coast will embrace him once they get to see him fight. We train in LA because that’s where Freddie is but New York is my hometown and we hope New York fight fans will make Dean their adopted son.”