13 Aug 2022

Connor ready for 'career-defining' summer

Coyle in action in Mexico tonight

Connor Coyle

Connor Coyle is hoping to make it 14-0 tonight in Mexico


Connor Coyle is preparing for a ‘career defining’ summer as he looks to make it 14-0 with victory over Edgar Ortega in the ABF Intercontinental middleweight title bout in Cancun tonight.

The Derry Middleweight flew out to Mexico on Tuesday in preparation for his latest fight, the second time he has had to fly to North America in just over a month. It will be his fourth Mexican opponent in succession, and arguable his toughest yet, with Ortega taking Carlos Molina to points in his last fight; incidentally Molina is headlining Brett McGinty’s show this weekend in Coventry.

A busy summer awaits Coyle, assuming everything goes to plan, with a bout against Ali Hussein in Berlin also on the cards, followed by his long-awaited return to America.

As ever in boxing though, nothing is guaranteed, and Coyle knows he can’t look far into the future just yet.

He has given himself two extra days to rest this time around, having endured a whistle-stop stay in Mexico last month for his one round victory over Esteban Villalba. He sees Ortega as a tougher opponent and wants to ensure he is in tip-top shape come the first bell.

“I wanted to come an extra two days prior to the last fight just to make sure that I’m well rested because this boy fought at world level and he has given boys at world level problems,” he explained.  “He is well-experienced so I can’t take him lightly. I need to make sure that I’m on my game and I’ll be treating it like a world title fight.

“It’s been over two years since I’ve had any kind of rounds in a fight. I’ve had plenty of rounds in sparring but it’s just not the same. I’m expecting this guy to give me rounds, but I just feel my power will be too much, especially in the later rounds; I start landing the heavier shots and I don’t think he’s going to be there at the end of the fight.”

Former European champion Paul ‘Dudey’ McCloskey recently encouraged Coyle to get busy if he is to achieve his aims in the sport, and Coyle is of the same mindset, working hard to make sure things happen, and happen fast.

“I’ll have three fights in the space of four months, and three title fights as well, which is excellent,” he continued.

“I have to get busy and I was supposed to be busy but then the pandemic hit just right in the centre of when we were supposed to have our big title fight to get into the top ten in the world. The pandemic hit and put a stop to everything.

“This is us keeping active now because I can’t get into America. So when I do get into America we are going to go for that fight to get into the top ten with the WBC. The plan this year is to be in the top ten before the end of the year and once I’m in that top ten I’m in with a shout for a title shot at any time. I just need to get my name out there now and start calling people out once I get into that top ten.” 

Business first

Coyle has at least some company on his 10,000-mile round trip this time around, with partner Eva Vipartaite accompanying him. He has admittedly been blown away by the facilities in Cancun compared to his last visit to Chihuahua, but it is business first with Ortega firmly in his sights.

“This one’s more organized,” he said.

“They have money behind them here in Cancun. It’s going to be in a nice venue; we’re staying in a nice resort which is absolutely surreal. The venue will be something similar, a big building which will be air conditioned. The last one wasn’t, it was in a bloody boxing gym with no air conditioning and it was 30 odd degrees.

“I just need all these wee blocks to click together nicely and then we’ll be flying this year. We’re going really, really well and we’re going strong and obviously we had a great start last month in Mexico. I just need to continue that in each fight.

“The last fight was six weeks ago so I haven’t had a break really since. I had a few days off after the fight but then I was straight back into the gym. I was home on the Monday and back into the gym on Wednesday. It’s going to be the same for this one and the fight in July. I just have to take care of business here.  I’m here in Cancun now and it looks like a lovely spot but I’ll enjoy it after the fight; it’s strictly business now.”

Connor would like to thank coach Cahir Duffy, strength and conditioning coach Kyle Wallace and Mark Doherty for their help in preparing for this weekend’s fight.

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