TOMMY Hyde made the perfect debut to his professional boxer career as he dropped Jiri Korda three times en route to a third-round stoppage win in America last week.
The popular light heavyweight puncher fought in Sioux Falls, South Dakota last Thursday to finally end a long period on the sidelines.
The maiden outing capped a frustrating year for the Rebel youngster but this impressive victory is likely to set up a busy 2023 as he hopes to build towards fighting for major belts as well as fighting in front of big crowds back home in Cork.
“What a night after a rollercoaster couple of months. We’re on the road now, ready to stay busy and keep learning with every fight. Roll on the next one, thanks for the support guys,” said Hyde after his recent win.
The talented Leesider had been looking to turn pro for over two years, spending plenty of time in America before seeing numerous opportunities fall through.
Hyde, who runs the popular Hannah Bawn's bar in Cork, was a top amateur having won three Irish underage titles, multiple box cups, and represented his country internationally - including at the World Junior Championships.
He spent time training in California and Mexico in early 2021 before moving back home to compete in both the Irish and English amateur championships.
Committing fully to the pros, he then relocated to Springfield, Massachusetts at the start of 2022 to train with top coach Hector Bermudez.
Hyde was due to fight in Cork earlier this year only for the sold-out show to be cancelled at late notice due to irregular findings in his MRI.
Initially, the worst was feared for Tommy's career but he was soon given the all-clear to box - the reason for the scan irregularity being a reaction to antibiotics taken as a child.
With the help of his father, Gary, who is a professional boxing manager, Tommy recovered from that setback and this recent win is sure to be just the first victory in his promising professional career.
“It’s brilliant to have my dad guiding me,” Hyde admitted in the lead-up to this fight.
“He has seen everything there is to see in the pro game and to be honest I have to work with him because I’ve always been next to him.
“He brought me to all the big fights with him so hopefully, I can bring him in a couple of years.
“I want big nights like that. It would be great to have a few shows a year in Cork with the crowds getting bigger and bigger.
"Eventually, I want to bring big fights and titles home.”