Connor Coyle has 'bad intentions' as he looks for eye-catching knockout win in Florida

UNBEATEN middleweight Connor 'The Kid' Coyle plans on delivering an eye-catching knockout win and stealing the show when he defends his NABA title in Florida on Sunday.

The former St Joseph's ABC clubman (17-0) was denied the biggest fight of his career against Felix Cash at London's O2 Arena back in October, a bill cancelled at the final hour due to headliner Conor Benn's failed drug test.

It was a devastating blow for the Derry man, ranked No.9 by WBA, who was determined to edge closer to a world title shot.

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And while he admits the cancelled event left him feeling flattened and 'unmotivated', he rediscovered his fight going into Sunday's clash with tough Bosnian Sladen Janjanin (34-13) who once went 10 rounds with four-time world title challenger Martin Murray back in 2019.

In fact, Coyle insists he's going into the fight at the Caribe Royale, Orlando with 'bad intentions' and plans to 'demolish' his opponent in the hope of making a statement in front of those gathered for the WBA Convention.

"It was a big disappointment with the Cash fight but that's boxing," he lamented. "These things happen and you just have to get on with it. It did demotivate me a little.

"When I got home I just took a week off and enjoyed time with the family because I was away from the wains for eight weeks which was hard.

"Cahir (Duffy) rang me and told me I can't fall too far behind. I need to get back in the gym and keep myself in shape and we're going to finish the year off with a fight regardless where it is or what it's going to be. We needed a fight because we couldn't wait around on Eddie Hearn to give us something.

Connor Coyle wants to make a statement in Florida as he defends his NABA belt.

"So we got this call to fight at the WBA Convention with a lot of big names, all WBA world champions, past and present, so there will be a lot of eyes on me that night. I have to go in and perform. I want to get a knockout.

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"From the opening bell I'll be going in to put him away. So if he gets past one round I'll be doing the same in the second round and I don't see him passing three rounds. I feel like he's going to fold or I'll knock him out within the three rounds.

"I have intentions to hurt him and that's what I'm going to do. I haven't had that before. I usually go in and see what happens, take it round by round but this fight I'm going in with bad intentions. I'm going in to demolish this boy!"

You can sense a definite change in Coyle's vocabulary, tone and mentality after the Cash setback as he prepares to enter a career defining 2023.

Coyle is sponsored by The Bentley Group, Derry.
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He's become meaner and more determined than ever to get that elusive title shot.

"This will be my fourth fight this year, it could've been five. I've been very active here in Florida, away from family and no distractions focussed solely on getting better and perfecting my craft.

"2023 is going to be a huge year for us. Once I defend my WBA belt on Sunday we're going to sit tight and wait for the big offers to come and the next fight we have will more than likely be another big title which will get us closer to that world title shot.

"We definitely want a world title shot in the next 12 months. So 2023 could be the year for a world title as long as those big names keep calling me out, we’re going to keep ready and if we get that call, even if it's short notice we're going to be in good shape to accept the fight."

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KSK Rathmor Engineering

Connor would like to thank the following sponsors for their continued support: The Bentley Group Bars, KSK Rathmor Engineering, Indigo Interiors NY, The Alvin Public House, Phones Connect, Classique Floor Designs, The Celtic Bar, That Prize Guy, The Sooty Olive, Ace Blinds, Curley Cars, Paul’s Butchers, Martin Heaney (Classic Bistro), HQM Fitness, Brookland Fencing.

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FIGHT OFF: Connor Coyle's title fight with Felix Cash called off!