CONNOR ‘The Kid’ Coyle is confident he can capture his first professional boxing title at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday night, just eight fights into his promising career in the paid ranks.
The Galliagh man finds himself over 4,000 miles from home in his quest for glory as he continues his bid to rise through the middleweight division and he’s hoping his performance will make people ‘stand up and take notice’.
And should he defeat Orlando native, Danny Pastrana for the vacant NBA title and extend his unblemished record to 8-0, the future will look bright for the 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist.
To accomplish what he has, headlining a major show promoted by Fire Fist Promotions in the USA, is pretty impressive at such an early stage of his professional boxing journey.
He’s carving a promising and exciting reputation for himself Stateside and should he secure his first title in the paid ranks, his star will continue to rise.
“I think I can be fast-tracked definitely,” said Coyle. “I’m looking forward to when I start stepping up into the bigger fights. I feel I will grow so much in those fights. I’ll want to show the world that I belong there.”
It’s his first outing of the year having struggled with a hand injury of late but despite seven months of inactivity - bearing in mind he was out five times in 2017 - and the pressure of being very much in the spotlight, Connor is as confident and relaxed as ever.
And that’s largely down to the hard graft in the gym in the searing heat of Florida coupled with his tough training camp at St Joseph’s ABC and his new nutrition and strength and conditioning plan put in place by FF Fitness trainer, Seamus Fox.
“I’m in the best shape of my life,” boasted the Galliagh middleweight. “I did every thing exactly on point during this camp. We have had nothing holding us back, everything has been perfect!
“I’ve been in touch with Seamus Fox over the final few weeks and we have tweaked my diet to ensure my best performance and for weight control.
“The last two weeks were great, I was jumping out of my skin, my energy levels are high and my weight is down.
“It’s my first professional title and headlining a big card in my eighth fight is a bit overwhelming. Having said that I don’t feel any extra pressure. I’m relaxed and focused on the goal ahead and once that bell goes on Saturday night, I know what I have to do.
“I’ve done it hundreds of times and this is no different. My training has paid off and I know I’m ready for whatever he brings on the night.”
His opponent, ‘El Bebo’ Pastrana doesn’t boast as good a record as the last man he was in the ring with, the previously unbeaten Calvin Metcalf, who was outclassed by Coyle and then went on to win his next three fights.
However, he is a tricky opponent and his style should mix well with the Derry man’s. Coyle expects a better showing than his last fight but he’s giving little away when it comes to his game-plan.
“I don’t want to say too much on what I’m going to do or what I think he’s going to do but I will be ready. Cahir Duffy put me through some intense training before I jetted off to Florida. Cahir, Kevin Duffy and Liam McLaughlin are growing St Joseph’s Boxing Club into a great team of champions.”
With so much at stake, Coyle isn’t going to get carried away on the night. “My game plan remains the same,” he said. “Keep it simple. Back to the basics, no fancy stuff! That’ll come once I break any of my opponents down with the jab.
“This opportunity definitely opens a lot of doors for me. Once I lift this title people will start to take notice more so than now.
“I haven’t been as active this year for a few small reasons but we are looking for bigger fights now. I’m hoping to have two belts before the end of this year. We move up bigger again next year, and we will continue to do that until we have an opportunity for a world title.
“I’d like to thank everyone for supporting me. I’d like to thank my daughter’s mum, Ashleigh for taking care of her every time I have to leave. Thanks also to St Joseph’s Boxing Club for keeping me in shape every time I’m home and the following sponsors: Olympus Fitness, Classique Floor Design, Paul’s Butchers, G&K Contract, Doherty’s Bakery, Evolve Menswear, The Bentley Bar, ThanksJosh Clothing, The Metro Bar, White Rose Clinic, FF Fitness, Magic Inc Tattoo Studio, Jamm Derry, Clarendon Chiropractors, Foyle Massage.