COMMONWEALTH GAMES hopeful, Connor Coyle believes he’s learned a timely and valuable lesson during his debut international appearance for Ireland in the Czech Republic last week.
The Galliagh middleweight warmed up for next month’s Games in Glasgow with a bronze medal in a Grand Prix tournament in Czech Republic.
The 23 year-old St Joseph’s ABC member made the podium in the 45th Usti Nad Labem in Prague in what was his first tournament in a green vest.
Coyle stormed his way into the semi-finals with an impressive 3-0 victory over Hungary’s Hegyi Barnabes in the 75kg division preliminary round.
However, the Derry man had to lose 9lbs the night before his semi-final bout and came out the wrong side of a 3-0 scoreline to eventual gold medalist, Arman Hovhikyan of Armenia.
And Coyle, who was delighted with his bronze medal contribution for the five man Ireland squad which finished joint first place with five medals, claims he will be better prepared ahead of the beginning of the Commonwealths on July 25th.
“It’s a brilliant achievement to bring back a medal for Ireland at that level,” said Coyle. “It’s a really high level and I could have went further.
“But I had to take 9lbs off me the night before I got in the ring for the semi-final,” he revealed. “The tournament was kind of sprung upon me and I wasn’t really ready to make the weight. My diet was geared towards making the weight for the Commonwealths but not as soon as the Prague tournament.
“So my diet wasn’t right or up to the proper standard for the Prague tournament.”
Coyle felt he could have went on and won gold if he had of boxed to his full ability and he was disappointed he got embroiled in a toe-to-toe war with the Armenian.
“He was constantly in my face throughout the fight,” added Coyle. “If I had of been comfortably at my weight then I would have boxed a lot better and he wouldn’t have got near me.
“I just stood there toe-to-toe with him and that’s not the type of fighter I am. If I had of boxed him at my game then I would have win the fight but I wasn’t able to do that because I felt so weak.
“He went on to win the gold medal so I suppose that gives me a bit more confidence because I definitely would have beaten him if I was at myself and I’d love to meet him again.
“I needed to get that rustiness away and get in the competitive mode again.
“I could have done better but that’s the way it goes. It gives me a better understanding and knowledge for tournament boxing.
“I’ll make sure I’m comfortably at my weight for the Commonwealths so that I’m at my best in Glasgow.
“It’s a good learning curve for me. I’ve learned from it and I’ll move on,” he concluded.