While most eyes on Saturday night will be locked on the SSE Odyssey Arena in Belfast, one of Irish boxing’s brightest prospects will also be in action on the other side of the pond.
Derry light middleweight Connor Coyle [4(1)-0] will fight for the fifth time as a pro in Florida, his third bout in The Sunshine State.
Coyle is in action in St Petersburg as he makes the step up to six rounds for the first time as a pro following two especially impressive performances in his last two contests.
Had things gone to plan, Coyle would perhaps already have be at 5-0The St Joseph’s boxer was due to feature on the undercard of Jeff Lacy’s comeback on May 12th, but this card was postponed.
The 27 year old family man took the setback in his stride and explained to Irish-Boxing.com that “Jeff Lacy had some problems, so the whole show was called off, so we had to change our flights to a later date.”
“I didn’t really mind to be honest, I knew we had other fights in the line, so I enjoyed the extra time at home with my daughter.”
“This is pro boxing, it most definitely isn’t going to be the first or last time it happens either lol so I’m prepared for anything is put on my path.”
Pro less than a year, Coyle’s career is really starting to kick on. Highly regarded by esteemed trainer Jim McLoughlin and turning some heads in Florida, the 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist makes the step up to six rounds.
Coyle outlined that “I’m moving up to 6 rounds now, I’m really looking forward to this as I felt I was only getting going [in previous fights] near the end of the fourth – breaking my opponents down round by round.”
“It will be interesting to see what way it plans out for me now on Saturday. I’m excited!”
“I’m definitely getting a momentum going now with the fan base here in Tampa and St Pete. It’s great to see them follow my journey. Also with people at home, it’s overwhelming the support I’m having, I appreciate every single thing people do for me.”
Of his foe on Saturday night, Coyle admits that “I don’t know much about my opponent, other than he’s never been stopped before, so he’s going to be a tough fighter regardless.”
“He used to fight pro MMA and had a pretty decent record, but obviously boxing is a lot different. He has over double the fights I have in pro boxing, so he will be durable and experienced.”
“I don’t take any fighter for granted, and I never will, so I plan on taking it round by round, breaking him down. If I see an opportunity, I’ll take him out.”
“But I won’t go looking for it, I’ll stick to the basics as we’ve been working on in the gym, and after that, anything can happen.”
Saturday’s fight will be an emotional one for Coyle who took the time to described how “this fight will be in the memory of my late uncle BJ (William McVeigh), who just passed one week on this Saturday.”
“He sent me a message the last time I was here, and told me to keep doing what I’m doing, I’m making everyone proud, and he was extremely happy for me. So this one will be for him.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)
LISTEN: Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill speak to Luke Keeler and Paddy Barnes on Episode 6 of The Irish Boxing Show: