DERRY KICKBOXER, Michael Coyle is adamant the opportunity to win a world title won’t pass him by as he looks to fulfil his dream in England on Saturday night.
The 23 year-old Westbank Kickboxing Club fighter travels to Birmingham where he takes on Amarjeet Singh for the World Ring Sports Association light-welterweight title at Walsall Football Club’s Bescot Stadium.
I’m not that worried about him. I’ve been in enough fights and he just looks like a bit of a banger - nothing really stood out about him.Michael Coyle
Fighting seems to run in the blood of the Coyle household as Michael follows in the footsteps of his father, ‘China’ - a veteran of the sport and active member of the Rosemount Kickboxing Club - while his cousin is professional middleweight boxing prospect, Connor Coyle.
The Hazelbank native has been fighting on the mats since the age of seven after his father submitted to his constant requests to join him at training.
His first full contact fight came at the age of 15 at the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny and he hasn’t looked back since. Now he believes he’s in the best condition of his life and doesn’t see any other outcome on Saturday night other than victory.
“I’m buzzing and can’t wait to get in,” said Michael. “This is what I’ve always dreamed of. I’ve been fighting since I was seven years-old and this is what I always wanted.
“I’ve been in the game for a long time now. People have left the sport and came back and I’ve just kept going. I’m hungrier than I’ve ever been and I’m not letting this opportunity get past me. I want that belt and I’m winning it!”
He’ll be accompanied on the plane to Birmingham by his ever supportive father, and Michael explained he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We’re a good team. If it wasn’t for my dad I wouldn’t be doing it. He’s the biggest influence. There’s not many father and sons who actively fight and train together.”
He’s recently become a father himself and he’s desperate to bring back a world title for his one-and-a-half year-old son, also named Michael, who he wants to introduce to the sport eventually.
“Hopefully he can take it up after me too. So I want to bring the belt back for him.”
Michael’s put in the hard yards and is feeling in peak physical condition, training twice a week with his dad, with Seamus Fox at FF Fitness where he’s put on extra muscle mass and with Irish MMA fighter, Tommy ‘The Ghost’ McCafferty in Letterkenny to sharpen his skills.
“I’ve been training non-stop. I’m training twice a day every day. I’m out running, I’m training with my dad, I’m training with ‘Foxy’ and going to Letterkenny to train and sparring with all different clubs every Sunday at Westbank. It’s always getting mixed up and it’s never the same training session.
“I’m confident I’ll bring the belt home. I had a fight at the end of October I was fighting for the WKA British title and my ear ripped 1.30 seconds into the fight and it was called a no contest. So there will be a rematch for that belt later in the year. I’ve never had a hand-picked fight and have always taken on tough fights so I’ve worked my way up to this. I’m feeling fit and strong and healthy and raring to go.”
The Derry man insists it won’t faze him to fight at Walsall’s stadium and he’s not overly worried about his opponent.
“I’ve seen a video of him fighting from two years ago when he was fighting at 74kg. He’s coming down weight to fight for the world title but I’m not that worried about him. I’ve been in enough fights and he just looks like a bit of a banger - nothing really stood out about him.
“I’m just going in and seeing how it goes. I’ll feel it out in the first couple of rounds and take it from there.”
Michael would like to thank his sponsors, Ringamathing Bodypiercing Studio; Hugh Hegarty (Hegarty’s Butchers); Teresa Deeney (Skin Art Tattoo Studio); Zac Deeney (Maiden City Ink Tattoo Convention); Kevin Lynch Flowers; David Cowan (The Car Wash Hatmore) and D&D Tyres.