BELFAST lightweight Paul Hyland Jr has been handed a golden opportunity to showcase his talents on the inaugural Matchroom ‘Nextgen’ format at York Hall on March 17.

In front of the Sky Sports cameras the Irish prospect is relishing the chance to perform on a huge new platform on St Patrick’s Day, as he takes on Hartlepool’s Peter Cope.

This brand new concept from Eddie Hearn’s promotional stable sees boxing prospects awarded the opportunity to gain valuable experience and strut their stuff in front of fans before moving up to the grander cards and events.

One such rising star is Hyland Jr, who will feature alongside the likes of other promising fighters Jack Ball, Felix Cash and Isaac Chamberlain on the ‘Nextgen’ event, headlined by Reece Belotti’s British featherweight title eliminator against Dai Davies.

“I’m very excited and thankful for the opportunity. It’s a brilliant day to fight on and when Mark [Dunlop] phoned me up with the news I was buzzing for it,” outlined the Belfast-born puncher.

“It’s my first fight on Sky Sports, and I’m happy that I’m going to get to showcase my boxing to a large viewing of people.”

This innovative new series from Matchroom will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 1 and their Facebook page during March 17.

With such wide exposure on offer for the hopeful prospects involved, ‘Hylo’ is relishing his chance to grab the attention of promoters on what he believes is a great concept.

“I think it’s a brilliant opportunity for me and other boxers coming up to showcase our talent to top promotors,” he continued.

“Hopefully I can achieve some more good news off this performance. I’m feeling good and looking forward to the fight now.”

Since bursting on to the professional scene in May 2014, Hyland Jr has become one of Ireland’s busiest fighters, competing five times in 2015 and adding a further four wins last year.

The Irishman has been tipped to go all the way to the top by manager Mark Dunlop and, having been involved in entertaining bouts so far in his 14-fight professional career, he’s confident of proving his worth next time out.

“Same as every fight, I am always confident in myself. I put in a good hard training camp, my dad and other coach Michael push me hard every step,” stated Hyland Jr.

“Plus all the hard sparring, it’s then just down to me to go out and put it all together on the night  and make sure I get that win which I believe and am confident I will.”

In light of impressive previous performances, the Belfast brawler is beginning to make an impact and a British lightweight title shot is within his sights after rising up the 135lbs rankings.

“Yes I know this guy I’m fighting is a tough boxer and will bring out the best in my performance. I feel I’m ready to step into that challenge for the British title.

“It’s what I want and I know as long as I put in a good hard camp I don’t care who it is in front of me. I believe in my ability that I will win that belt soon.”

March 17 brings an even deeper significance for Hyland Jr too, with fight night taking place on St Patrick’s Day. Irish fight fans will be tuning in in their masses to witness Michael Conlan’s debut in the paid ranks at New York City’s Madison Square Garden later that night.

But Hyland Jr can provide them with plenty of action beforehand as well at the world famous York Hall in London.

The popular lightweight has built up a huge fan base in his native Belfast through his exciting style and he’s looking forward to putting on another strong showing for those supporting him.

“St Paddy’s Day is a great event back home, everyone is always buzzing and now that I’m fighting on that day all I’ve been hearing is people saying about how good it’s going to be watching me fight that night on Sky Sports,” declared ‘Hylo’.

“I’m really happy about that support. I also have a good load of friends traveling over to watch me fight in London and I’m very thankful for them all coming over to support me and get behind me. It always gives you that extra boost in the ring.”

The undefeated 26-year-old will face off against Cope in the English capital for the inaugural ‘Nextgen’ event.

Hartlepool-born southpaw Cope will enter proceedings on the back of three recent straight victories and will see this as a great chance himself, but Hyland Jr is confident of dealing with anything thrown at him on March 17.

“I respect him the same way I do every fighter in there to do a job same as me. He’s coming to win same as me, it’s a great match-up so I’m expecting it to be a brilliant fight,” added the unbeaten Irishman.

“I know he’s a tough guy but I can box and I can fight and I’m confident that I will do whatever suits me best to get the win.”