In a battle of unbeaten fighters Dominican Javier Fortuna (20-0-0-1, 15) takes on Irishman Patrick Hyland (27-0, 12) for the interim WBA Featherweight title in what should be a very intriguing match up for both men.
Going in to this match up I'd have to make the 29 year old Hyland the under-dog. Despite having a longer unbeaten record at 27 fights (dating back to 2004) he hasn't yet really been given a tough test, at least not a test that should prepare him for a world title bout. In fact looking over Hyland's record it's hard to see who was supposed to push him and see what he was really made of with the only "testing" opponent being former world title challenger Emmanuel Lucero (who had lost his previous 2 bouts, and is now 0-7 in his last 7).
Despite his paper record Hyland is regarded highly, especially in Ireland where he started his career. Despite starting his career in Ireland however he is now based in the US where he has fought his last 3 bouts (and 6 in total). Alongside his brothers Paul and Eddie he is seen as a potential draw amongst the Irish-American contingent however he's been somewhat protected due to the losses of his brothers who have had their limitations shown up.
As well as being untested Hyland has issues. He was pushed incredibly hard by Lucero who took his best power shots and kept coming, showing that Hyland doesn't have the power to force a tough opponent on to the back foot, in fact a tough fighter will likely be happy to take one to land one from him. Saying this however he has got solid skills and was a former stand out amateur who is well schooled and knows how to box. He also has Jersey Shore personality "Snooki" behind him and will likely have a bigger fan base in the arena.
Sadly for Hyland, whilst he's not tested, his opponent Javier Fortuna is tested and has been passing tests with ease. In fact the way he has been passing his tests has caught the eye of boxing fans around the globe who have began to rate Fortuna as one of the best emerging youngsters in the sport.
Aged just 23 the Dominican fighter has been fast tracked up the rankings building on his excellent amateur pedigree. His handlers have had no problems with matching him hard and that's why he is where he is so quickly. In just his 11th bout Fortuna suffered the only "black mark" on his record so far suffering an opening round No Contest with former Lightweight title contender Francisco Lorenzo and since then he has been destroying opponents with ease.
Amongst those beaten by Fortuna are recent world title challenger Miguel Roman, previously unbeaten prospect Yuandale Evans and most recently former world champion Cristobal Cruz. He has so far shown amazing power, speed, and whilst he's still a little crude he has the natural gifts to get away with his mistakes.
Personally it's the difference in power and in competition that make me favour Fortuna and favour him big. I just can't see Hyland having the power to punish Fortuna's mistakes whilst Fortuna himself will just bully and beat down Hyland before forcing stoppage.