PICTURED: Top prospect gets tattoo of Irish boxing legend


Derry is an Irish boxing hotbed, and there is one bloodline in particular that is providing champion after champion.

Back in 1938, Spider Jim Kelly would win the British and Commonwealth featherweight titles. Less than 20 years later, his son Billy would claim the very same belts. Now, half a century on, Billy’s nephew Connor Coyle is a fledgling pro who claimed Commonwealth Games bronze in 2014.

Currently back home in Derry after recording his sixth professional win in Florida last week, Coyle has gotten a tattoo to celebrate his fighting uncle, who passed away aged 78 in 2010.

coyle tattoo

Coyle had the inside of his forearm adorned with Spider Billy Kelly by Tynnan Coyle of Black Dagger Tattoo.

Billy Kelly is described as being Derry’s greatest ever. A defensive master, he enjoyed an 83-fight career in which he won the BBBoC Northern Ireland title in 1953, the Commonwealth belt in 1954, and the British title in 1955. Also in 1955 he would unsuccessfully challenge for the European title in Dublin, losing a disputed decision to Italian Ray Famechon.

gym trition

frayne carpentry

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie