Connor Coyle crowned NABA middleweight champion after split decision win over Antonio Todd in Florida

DERRY middleweight Connor 'The Kid' Coyle clinched the vacant NABA title in Orlando, Florida on Saturday night after a 10 round split decision win over Antonio Todd.

By Simon Collins
Sunday, 22nd May 2022, 9:22 am
Connor Coyle won the NABA middleweight title after victory in Florida.
Connor Coyle won the NABA middleweight title after victory in Florida.

The 31 year-old Galliagh native extended his unbeaten professional record to 16-0 and afterwards boldly claimed to the live televised audience and the packed Caribe Royale attendance: 'you're definitely going to see Connor the Kid Coyle become world champion'.

Coyle dominated the early rounds against the Atlanta based Todd (13-6-0) who came into the fight following a career-defining upset over WBC No.10 rated Hugo 'The Boss' Centeno Jr last January.

Todd finished the fight strongly but Coyle had done enough to earn the biggest win of his career which is expected to catapult the former St Joseph's ABC clubman into the WBA's top 10 rankings.

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Coyle won on two of the three judges' scorecards. Alexander Levin scored the fight 96-94 in favour of Todd while William Glover awarded a 96-94 win for Coyle. The decisive scorecard was Rose Lacend's who scored the fight 97-93 for the Derry man who had his hand raised in victory.

"I'd just like to thank my team first for giving me the opportunity," said a delighted Coyle afterwards. "I'd like to thank Bally Sports and Entrobox for giving me this platform to fight from and become the new NABA WBA champion.

"It was a great fight. Todd was very awkward. He's a difficult fighter and it was a very tough fight. We just go on from here and go back to the gym and work on the little mistakes we made but I'm happy enough with the performance. I'm just excited to get back in and do it again."

Despite that late scare, Coyle always felt in control of the fight and claimed he stuck to his gameplan to earn the win.

"I knew I was out boxing him in most of the rounds. I knew I had the points advantage. We weren't really looking for the knockout so it was about getting the timing and working off the jab and just boxing and moving and I think that was working so we just stuck to the gameplan.

"If I saw him hurt I would've taken him out but as I say he was very awkward the way he was slipping and the way he moved so a round of applause for Todd. It was a very good fight."

Asked what was next for him, Coyle confidently declared he would continue working towards a world title shot.

"You're definitely going to see Connor the Kid Coyle become world champion. That was 50 percent of what I can do, if even. I'm a much, much better fighter. Each time we're in the camp we just get better and better. I'm excited to keep progressing and moving towards that world title."

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