05 Oct 2022

Connor Coyle ready to get Down & Dirty with 'knock-out artist'

Derry Middleweight aiming for 15-0 this weekend

Connor Coyle

Connor Coyle is back in action this Saturday.

After a nine-month wait, Connor Coyle is back in America, back in the ring and back in the zone as he aims to make it 15-0 this Saturday night against Rodrigo Lopes (8-1).

‘The Kid’ has had all sorts of back luck in recent times, with the global pandemic the least of his concerns as he faced visa issues, travel setbacks and injury problems as his attempts to break into the top ten middleweights in the world stalled.

Coyle hasn’t fought since his bizarre rain-storm victory over Edgar Ortega in Mexico last May, after which he was held quarantined in a Dublin hotel, but since then things have finally started to look up. His visa to return to the United States has been approved and he has spent the last few months back in Florida working with long-term coach Jim McLoughlin. After travelling to and from Mexico attempting to keep his career moving, Coyle is content that he has returned to his home away from home.

“The two years stuck at home with the pandemic were melting,” he admitted. “There was nothing we could really do also with the red tape around the visa. I was constantly trying to get the visa sorted; three times I tried to get back to America, but three times I got sent home from London. But now I’m here and I can’t complain. I’m just going to keep pushing forward and leave the past in the past.

“Where I stay here in Florida, it does feel like it’s second home for me here, so I’m definitely comfortable training here. I have a great team around me who look after me. They put me up and feed me and I have the coaches to look after me at the gym. It’s a very good set-up and it’s a set-up I’ll be using the rest of my career.”

With the world finally coming out the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic, the aim is to pick up where he left ff two years ago. Big names such as Chris Eubank Junior continue to be linked to the Derry middleweight, but he is cutting out all the noise and focusing on what he hopes will be two fights in the next two months.

“We’ve had some contacts with big names, even for sparring partners, but our goal is just Saturday night, getting in and getting rid of this boy and flying straight back to Florida and straight into camp for a fight on March 19 if everything goes well this weekend,” he explained. “I’ll just take care of this boy and we’ll see who’s in line for March and keep moving forward from there.

“The Mexico fights were just to shake off the rust. I’m happy enough I did them, but I’ll not be back again, definitely not. I’m 14-0 so those two wins in Mexico helped because I would have been coming back to America 12-0. I’m happy enough with that, and I’ll be going for 15-0 on Saturday night. I’m just looking forward to getting back in the ring. I love the fan base here in America and the atmosphere is always electric so I’m looking forward to that mostly.”


Change in opponent

The 31-year-old was originally slated to face the experienced Guido Nicolas Pitto of Argentina but he was forced to withdraw due to the death of his father. In steps Lopes, who has scored seven KO’s from eight fights, who promises to give Coyle a real test on Saturday night. The fight is the co-main event on the ‘Down & Dirty’ card and is for the for the ABF Continental Americas Middleweight title. Whoever he steps into the ring with, Coyle insists he is ready.

“Building up towards that stage when you’re stepping in with world-level fighters, you’re obviously going to have to do a lot more homework and a lot of studying on the fighters because of their experience,” he continued.

“You have to see what flaws they have, but I’m comfortable enough with my ability at the minute and I know my gameplan when I step into the ring. They are calling him a knockout artist, but that doesn’t really bother me. I know what I’ve been preparing for in the gym. There were three separate opponents for this fight so I can’t just sit down and focus on one person because even this guy could drop weight this week and we’ll need a late replacement again. I just need to keep myself ready and no matter who steps into the ring on Saturday night, I’ve got to be ready.”

To watch Conor's fight live, visit programs/down-and-dirty-3? fbclid= IwAR3AVGgIsPaEkt3BCtZI5pv- UWoPyKHS56ooCG1GFjkn1GzU3Zw9pW 0IVv4


Connor Coyle is grateful to be supported by the following: The Bentley Bar, The Sooty Olive, The Thirsty Goat, Classique Floor Designs, Curly’s Cars, Phones Connect, The Alvin Bar & Restaurant, NYC Brooklands Fencing, RJB tiling, Paul’s Butchers. Indian Palace, QPS Academy and Doire Dress Designs.

To continue reading this article,
please subscribe and support local journalism!

Subscribing will allow you access to all of our premium content and archived articles.


To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.