Connor Coyle confident of Cancun success against 'unpredictable' Mexican

CONNOR ‘The Kid’ COYLE has been soaking up the sun in the idyllic Mexican Caribbean resort of Cancun for the past few days but after an arduous 40 hours journey, the Derry middleweight insists ‘it’s been all business’ as he prepares for his 14th professional outing tonight.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 5:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th May 2021, 6:00 pm
Connor Coyle is back in action in Cancun, Mexico against big hitter Edgar Ortega on Friday night.

No one can accuse the former St Joseph’s ABC clubman for shirking a challenge as he continues to clock up the air miles in pursuit of his boxing dream and he faces a tough test of his resolve against durable Mexican, Edgar Ortega (18-12-0).

He made short work of his last Mexican opponent, Esteban Villaba in Chihuahua last April, finishing the job convincingly with a first round stoppage. And while the location might be a lot easier on the eye this time around, Coyle isn’t expecting an easy night’s work against Ortega who took former IBF world champion and self professed ‘King of the ring’ Carlos Molina the distance in his last fight before losing on points.

“Travelling was a bit of a nightmare but it wasn’t as bad as the last time because we were flying through the night this time and I got a good seven hours sleep on the plane,” explained Coyle, who made the journey with his girlfriend Eva Vipartaite. “I didn’t sleep at all on my last trip. This time I travelled from Istanbul to Mexico City and then on to Cancun.

“I’ve just been ticking over with a light bit of training to keep myself active but I’m feeling good and feeling strong. I feel much fitter than the last fight I had in Mexico because we had to pull back on the sparring six weeks before that because I hurt my hand.

“Everything has been sweet this time around. I’ve had loads of rounds of sparring and good high pace sparring as well so I’m confident of going in and doing a number of this boy on Friday night.”

Eleven of Ortega’s 18 wins came by way of stoppage which suggests the Mexican packs a punch but while Coyle expects his opponent to be ‘unpredictable’ and ‘awkward’, he plans to keep him at bay with his longer reach. And the 2012 Commonwealth Games medallist believes his superior ring craft and boxing skills will see him register a 14th straight professional victory and earn the American Boxing Federation (ABF) Inter-continental middleweight strap.

“He’s so unpredictable, he’s an awkward fighter. He’s fought at world level a few times so he will be a serious opponent. I’m not taking anything away from him or taking anything for granted because anything can happen in the fight game.

Connor Coyle and girlfriend Eva Vipartaite in Cancun this week.

“But I just feel my ring craft and footwork and hand speed and power might just be too much for him. I’ll just take it round by round, win a round at a time and if I see a knockout there we’ll take it as usual.

“I’m confident in my abilities and confident in my fitness. I’m just going to go in and enjoy it on Friday night. I don’t mind if I get a few rounds under my belt because I haven’t gone more than two rounds in over two years. My last four opponents were stopped.

“He’s obviously crafty and tough if he’s taking world level operators the distance so I’ll take it round by round and if I see an opening, I’ll take it. Everything will come off the jab and I think my jab is going to be too fast.

“My arms are a lot longer than his and so I’ll just keep him at bay with the jab and pick my shots.”

Coyle has shown an impressive determination to rise through the rankings since Covid put the brakes on his promising professional career. Visa issues prevented him returning to his Florida base in the USA but he’s worked hard to discover various other avenues to keep him ticking over.

It comes with its own risks but the end goal is to keep climbing the rungs of the middleweight ladder and after a hugely successful training camp, he’s ready to show the fruits of his labour.

“With everything we’ve been through over the lockdown, I just have to try and grab every opportunity I can to get my career going. If everything goes well I’ll have another fight in Berlin in July and then I’ll have my interview for my visa in August and hopefully will be back in America for the bigger fights.”

Coyle would like to thank St Joseph’s ABC coach, Cahair Duffy, his strength and conditioning coach, Kyle Wallace, nutritionist Mark Doherty for all their help in getting him into top shape for tonight’s fight. He extends his thanks to sponsors, The Alvin Bar in New York, The Thirsty Goat, Central Site Development, Care Valet, Olympus Fitness, Curley Cars, Classique Floor Design Ltd. Frankie Ramseys, Brooklands Fencing, Paul’s Butchers, The Bentley Bar, Archibald Construction and Doire Dress Designs.