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Tommy Hyde, left, in action against Thomas O'Toole during their 81kg bout at the 2019 National Elite Men’s & Women’s Boxing Championships finals at the National Stadium in Dublin. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Tommy Hyde, left, in action against Thomas O'Toole during their 81kg bout at the 2019 National Elite Men’s & Women’s Boxing Championships finals at the National Stadium in Dublin. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
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Cork boxer is fully focused on capturing the English Elite title 

CORK light-heavyweight Tommy Hyde has his eye on the 81kg title at the English Elite Championships which begin in Manchester next month.

But he has to go through the London qualifiers for the oldest National Championships in the world first.

The Leesider is boxing out of the Bodyshots BC in London in the countdown to the flagship tournament of English amateur boxing.

"I boxed with them (Bodyshots BC) before. Great to be kept busy experiencing new opponents and styles in England and of course I'm in it to win it," he said.

"I've to get through the London Championships starting next Thursday."

Hyde, boxing for the St Michael's Athy BC, was edged out in the quarter-finals of the Irish Elites in Dublin last November after dropping a split decision to Belfast's Paul McCullagh.

The Cork fighter, son of Gary Hyde who managed Cuba's and Cameroon's World champions Guillermo Rigondeaux and Hassan N'Jikam, lost the February 2019 Irish Elite final to Galway's Thomas O'Toole, also on a split.

The IABA ran the Elites twice last year to clear the decks for the European qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 which begin in London on Friday week.

The Irish light-heavy vest for the qualifiers was up for grabs after two-time World Elite finalist Joe Ward turned pro with Times Square of New York.

Dublin's Emmett Brennan won the 81kg belt in November and will line out for a 13-strong Irish team, which also includes Cork's Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan's BC), at the London qualifiers.

The Irish team leave for London on March 11. Seventy-seven Olympics places, 50 for men and 27 for women, will be up for grabs in the English capital.

Hyde, a great grand nephew of Cork boxing legend, also Tommy Hyde, admitted that it was a test to get to starting blocks at the English Elites, but that's what he's looking for, and he has no complaints.