MIDDLEWEIGHT Connor Coyle will be a familiar face at ringside at the Irish Senior Finals in the National Stadium, Dublin tomorrow night as he lends his support to Derry’s two Irish Elite Championship finalists.
His former St Joseph’s ABC stablemate, Blaine Dobbins will be looking to become the Galliagh club’s first Irish Senior champion- a feat which eluded Coyle, despite coming so close to achieving it.
The 2012 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist moved on to the professional ranks and will be the centre of attention when he enters the ring at the same Dublin arena next Saturday for his third professional fight.
He takes on 24 year-old Spanish based, Michael Mora of Nicaragua who once fought for a domestic welterweight title.
After a promising start Mora has adopted a journeyman tag with 15 losses from his 26 pro. fights so far.
“I know he started off his career well and got 11 wins with a few knockouts and then he turned into a bit of a journeyman for whatever reason after that.
“He’s fought some good fighters. I’ve watched two of his fights and I know what to expect from him. I’m not going to dwell on him too much or over-think it. I’m prepared for anything so it doesn’t really matter what he brings on the night - I’ll be ready!”
Coyle has his sights set on bigger and better things and hopes to fight for a title by the end of 2017. He’s got two four round fights in the next three weeks and aims to keep busy on his way to the top.
He certainly looks sharper than ever and believes he’s in the best shape of his career following his latest intense training camp in Tampa, Florida. He returned last week just in time to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday and now he’s anxious to get back down to business in the ring.
“I’ve been ticking over since I got back from the States,” he said. “I’m probably the sharpest I’ve ever been. I’ve increased my running to eight to 10 miles every day and I’ve never ran that before.
The coaches are talking about a title fight before the end of the year. I’d like to get at least six fights this year in total.Connor Coyle
“Each camp I go to they’ve said they see me progressing each time and I’m getting better every camp as I prepare to move up the rounds and move up the rankings.
“This next fight in Dublin and the one in St Patrick’s Day in Florida they’re my two last four rounders. So I’ll have two four rounders and then two six rounders and hopefully move to eight and 10 before the end of the year.
“I’ve got two fights in the space of three weeks so hopefully they go well and then I’ll be going back to get a visa sorted and keep the ball rolling.
“The coaches are talking about a title fight before the end of the year,” he added. “I’d like to get at least six fights this year in total.
“I can’t wait for next week,” continued the talented middleweight. “I’ll be back a week on Saturday (tomorrow) and I’ve been ready to fight since I got here. I’m just staying sharp until the night arrives.
And he will get an early chance to re-familiarise himself with the venue tonight - the scene of his second professional victory over Santos Medrano last November.
“I’ll be going down to watch the boys on Friday night. Two lads in the finals of the Irish Elites - I couldn’t pass that up. I have to go down and support them. And I’ll be in the ring the week after.
“It’s already sold out and I’m the only fighter who has some left so I’m hoping to get the Derry heads behind me and get down to make some noise again.”
Tickets for the Unfinished Business card on Saturday, February 25th are available at Rod & Line, Clarendon St. and Strike Martial Arts Academy on the Bay Road, priced at E60 for ringside and E40 for Gallery.
Coyle would like to thank his main sponsor, Classique Floor Design and local businesses, Paul’s Butchers, Doire Dress Designs, Timber Quay Restaurant and Wine Bar, The Sooty Olive and Strike Martial Arts Academy for their continued support.