Derry middleweight Connor Coyle treating Washington debut like a world title fight
CONNOR COYLE believes 2020 will be his breakthrough year in the middleweight division and he’s determined to begin with a bang when he returns to the ring in Washington, USA in the early hours of Friday morning.
The undefeated Derry man is hoping to stretch his unblemished record to 12-0 but faces a step-up in class when he takes on Mexican, Miguel Dumas on a Roy Jones Promotions bill at the Legends Casino, Toppenish.
Coyle, who appeared on three boxing bills stateside in 2019, is hoping to keep active this year and push his way into the top 10 world rankings.
He impressed on his last outing with a second round stoppage of Rafael Ramirez at the Viejas Casino and Resort in Alpine, California last August - his second fight under the Roy Jones Jr. Promotions banner.
And he’s confident, despite the step-up in opposition, he will put on another top class performance in front of the UFC Fight Pass audience and the Washington fight fans as he looks to continue making strides in the division.
“Everything is going great,” said the Galliagh man from his USA training camp this week. “I’ve put in a lot of work for this fight, and I’m excited to get back into the ring again.
“I’ve had a full camp at home with Cahir Duffy (St Joseph’s ABC) and he’s got me into phenomenal shape, even over the Christmas holidays, so I’m confident that my fitness levels are through the roof.”
Dumas (11-2) is undoubtedly a dangerous opponent with eight of his 11 wins coming by way of knockout. However, Coyle isn’t overly concerned about the Mexican’s punching power and believes he’s hitting harder than ever.
“My opponent seems to have power,” he agreed. “But I know I punch harder and I have a better skill set. We take no one for granted, as anything can happen in boxing, so we treat each fight like a world title!
“I’m confident in my own hands and I’m not holding back with my punches any longer. So I’m starting to feel my power progress in sparring and training with that.
“I have been working a lot on power at home before I came to Florida to finish camp. I had a great two months of solid strength work under the watchful eye of Kyle Wallace (Aspire Fitness & Performance) so I’m ready!”
Coyle, who is based in Florida with coaches, Jim McLoughlin and John Viniciguerra, made his Las Vegas debut in 2019 and also fought in California.
On Thursday he makes his Washington bow and he hopes to build on his American fan base with a memorable display.
“Washington State will be another opportunity for myself to grow some more followers here Stateside,” he said. “My fan base is expanding and I’m forever grateful for everyone who takes the time to support me. Another fight under the UFC Fight Pass also will help grow that fan base.”
Coyle’s opponent has lost both his fights outside his native Mexico and so the Derry man hopes he won’t enjoy making the trip to the US capital.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist is focusing on his own performance and believes victory will set him up for an exciting year.
“We have to focus on getting through this tough Mexican opponent on Thursday night, then we will sit down with Roy Jones Junior’s team and decide what the next move is.
“We will definitely be making moves in 2020, towards titles to break into the world top 10. I’ve done my time now, gathered enough experience to start making a step up in class now.
“This is the year I make my name and stand out in the middleweight division,” he predicted.
The former St Joseph’s ABC clubman would like to thank the following sponsors who assisted with his training and travelling for each fight; Classique Floor Designs, The Thirsty Goat, Frankie Ramsey’s, The Bentley Bar, Paul’s Butchers, Brooklands Fencing, Sandwich Co (S.co), RJB Tiling, Curley’s Cars and Evolve Clothing official.”