It’s one of the most competitive amateur weight divisions in Britain but Liverpool’s Blane Hyland believes having so many top flyweights is only good news for his development.
The Salisbury ABC fighter trains with the Great Britain squad alongside the highly-rated Jack Bateson and podium squad member Muhammad Ali.
Ali defeated Hyland in last year’s ABA final at the Echo Arena before going on to represent GB at the European Games.
However, the Liverpudlian, who will fight in this season’s World Series of Boxing (WSB), knows he’s at least on a level with his compatriot.
“It’s great having so much talent at my weight,” said the 21-year-old. “It improves the standard and makes you work harder; you want it more. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
“It makes it more exciting and it certainly gives me that extra little push in training, thinking I want to get to that level. I want to get to the worlds where he (Ali) has been.”
Despite being considered teammates, Hyland is in the game of winning fights – as he takes a more practical approach to the sport.
“I see them as competition for sure,” he said. “I get on well with them when I’m with the British squad but when you’re boxing you’ve got to think about yourself, haven’t you? It’s business.
“I don’t take anything personal and it’s just part and parcel of the game. You have to box the best to become the best; that’s everyone’s goal. We are teammates but we are all looking towards the top.”
Blane Hyland in action for EnglandBlane Hyland in action for England
Hyland is the latest in a long line of Liverpool boxers to compete in the illustrious WSB. Peter McGrail fought on Thursday night.
“I’m excited for the five rounds,” said Hyland. “You’re boxing the best and the experience will be second to none. I was made up when I got the nod.
“Experience is the one thing you need more than anything. You can work hard but you learn loads from fights. I’ll just keep improving with the more fights I’ll be getting.”
Hyland is pencilled in for the Chemistry Cup in Halle, Germany in March but admits he isn’t looking too far beyond that tournament.
“There’ll be the ABAs but ultimately I’m looking to perform when I get my chance. I need to prove myself and get myself into the Olympics,” he said.
“I’m 21, so I’m still young. I just want as many fights as I can and soak it all up like a sponge.
“It’s a massive year ahead for me and I just want to thank Wavertree Car Centre for all their help and support.”