Focused Coyle predicting Florida pay-off following lengthy camp

Following the longest camp of his career, Connor Coyle is ready to kick-start his 2018 with a win and a maiden title.

The Derry middleweight fights this Saturday night in a minor title fight, a bout which he has been in training for since February.

Coyle [7(2)-0] fights for the NBA Inter-Continental belt this weekend at the Coliseum in St Petersburg, Florida, where he will face Orlando’s Danny Pastrana [6(1)-4(2)].

The Florida-based fighter started camp in his native Derry before returning to Florida and top coach Jim McLoughlin ahead of the headline bout of a FireFist card which will be streamed live globally via

The long lead-in has been both a blessing and a curse for Coyle who explained to how “I’ve been itching to get back in the ring.”

“It was frustrating holding off until June but it was all for a good reason, and a bigger fight. So it will all pay off on Saturday night.”

“I’ve been very motivated and focused this camp, I’m not sure if it was the time off or if it’s because of a title fight but I haven’t been this focused ever.”

“So I’m looking forward to what lays ahead on this next one.”

The 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist has been matched well since turning pro in the Sunshine State – his last fight saw him outpoint the unbeaten and awkward Calvin Metcalf over eight – and he enters Saturday’s fight full of confidence

“First professional title, feeling excited about this one in particular,” he outlined. “I’m headlining the show and that’s a bonus.”

“I’ve put in a full training camp and the work has been done in the gym. Training so far from home is a struggle with my daughter back in Ireland but it also inspires me.”

Pastrana, who has also known of the fight and been in camp for near four months, is just another opponent for Coyle.

The 28-year-old described how “I don’t know much about my opponent. I let mu coach do all the background work and I just focus on myself in the gym and try to improve on my own skill set and fitness.”

“My plans is to just get out to the centre of the ring, and work off the jab. We will see where the fight goes after I establish my jab.”

I’ll be ready for whatever Danny Pastrana brings Saturday night and plan to return to Ireland with the NBA championship,” he added before thanking his team.

“It would be hard to do without all them,” Coyle continued. “I’d like to thank FireFist Boxing Promotions for giving me these opportunities, and my team – Jim Mcloughlin, John Vinciugerra, Cahir Duffy, Kevin Duffy, Liam McLauglin, Rick Caronongan, Seamus Fox, Jim Conahan – for all their help.”

“My sponsors, in Derry, Olympus Fitness, Classique Floor Design, Paul’s Butchers, G&K Contract, Doherty’s Bakery, Evolve Menswear, The Bentley Bar, ThanksJosh Clothing, The Metro Bar, White Rose Clinic, FF Fitness, Magic Inc Tattoo Studio, and in Florida, Florida Care Valet, Spinnergy, Private All Star Cars, and The Body Work.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: