BOXING: Connor '˜The Kid' Coyle continues to live the American dream
CONNOR '˜The Kid' Coyle has been promised a shot at his first professional boxing title early in the New Year, to be televised live on ESPN, as he continues to chase his American dream.
The 27 year-old Galliagh middleweight’s career is a path well travelled by Irish boxers seeking to ‘make it big’ in the USA.
And so far it’s working out pretty well for the former St Joseph’s ABC clubman who stretched his unblemished professional record to 7-0 on Tuesday night in Florida - just 13 months after making the transition to the paid ranks!
Coyle stepped up to eight rounds for the first time to take on previously unbeaten Calvin Metcalf (6-0) on the same bill as former world champion, Devon Alexander’s comeback fight against Walter Castillo at the Coliseum, in his adopted home of St Petersburg.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist was faced with his toughest test so far and was taken the distance by the unorthodox Metcalfe but earned a 77-75 points victory on all three scorecards.
It wasn’t the performance Coyle wanted to sign off an impressive 2017 with but he was delighted to get another win under his belt and learn some tough lessons in the ring.
Despite suffering from a virus during fight week and having his preparations disrupted with his fight being a ‘swing bout’ on the televised schedule, Coyle was happy to end a busy year with yet another win - and his most impressive scalp yet!
“He was definitely a tough opponent,” explained Coyle. “He was in my face every second of every round.
“I was expecting that from him. I just had an off night as well. I didn’t perform to my best at all. I try not to use any excuses but I was sick for the full week leading up to the fight.
“I wasn’t listening to my coach in the corner either. Had I listened to him the fight would’ve went a completely different way.
“I’ve learned from my mistakes so hopefully it never happens again. That’s the main thing I can take away from it.
“TV screwed things up for me as well,” he said. “I was supposed to be on before Devon Alexander but I was a swing bout and was getting warmed up and had the gloves on me for three hours.
“I was up and down, getting a good sweat and then having to cool down again. I had to do that three times so it was a disaster.”
Despite the performance, his undefeated record remains in tact.
“It’s a very impressive record,” he beamed. “I’m 7-0 after 13 months as a pro. That’s a great achievement and I’m very happy about that.”
His transatlantic journey has certainly reaped its rewards as he continues to relish in the priceless media exposure the unrivalled American boxing scene can offer.
Coyle’s rated as a red-hot pugilistic prospect and has signed a three fight deal with ESPN, the television network promising to screen his upcoming fights on US soil.
“I’m building up the rounds for a title fight so it was good to get the eight rounds in. The next fight will be against a champion so we need the rounds under my belt.
“I’m hoping to get out again around February or March time. I may have another fight in between that just because of my performance on Tuesday night, before I go for a title.
“So it might be a case of getting another good win before I go for a title shot.
“I got the win and I’m happy with that. I’m still on the right track. It’s all a learning curve and I’ll take a lot from the performance.
“Physically I was in great shape and I was sparring 10 rounds so I knew I was ready for eight rounds. The sickness just knocked me back a bit and I didn’t have the strength on the night.
“It wasn’t ideal the week of the fight obviously.
“He was very unorthodox and awkward. That’s how he gets his wins and that’s why he was undefeated.
“The main thing was to get the win but we’ll go back to the drawing board, focus on the next one and decide where we go from there and when the title fight will be.
“Every fight over here has been televised but this was national tv Fox Sports. We have dates locked in with ESPN for two or three fights next year.
“Hopefully I can get a couple of titles next year and with them being on TV, it’ll bring even more exposure and I’ll get that recognition.
“Each fight just keeps getting bigger and bigger and I seem to be getting more followers over here.
“I enjoy the hype of it all and it keeps pushing me on. It sometimes drains the confidence from boxers but I love it.”
Having made the necessary sacrifices in pursuit of his American dream, Coyle can’t wait to return home to his young daughter, Clódagh-Rose and spend Christmas with his family before bracing himself for big things in 2018!
Connor would like to thank all his sponsors for making his journey so successful including the following businesses:
Classique Floor Designs; Olympus Fitness; G&K Contracts; Paul’s Butchers; City Property Estate Agents; Evolve Men’s Wear; The Metro Bar; The Bentley Bar; ThanksJosh Clothing; Three Bridge Cars; FF Fitness and Seamus Fox; Spinnergy; Therapeutic Massage; Private All Star Cars; The Body Works; TrystGastroLounge; Black Dagger & Co; Elite Martial Arts.