Henry "The Western Warrior" Coyle believes that the phenomenal success of the Irish boxers at the Olympics can inspire him to victory at the Royal Theatre, Castlebar this Friday night when he makes the first defence of his WBF Light Middleweight title against Marcelo Rodriquez. The two men will come face to face for the first time tomorrow ahead of Friday's fight when they will be introduced to the crowd at the annual Belmullet festival at 3pm.
The nation has been celebrating the medal winning exploits of our boxers in London and Coyle hopes to keep the party going with a big performance on Friday as he looks to turn back the challenge of the heavy hitting Argentinian. The bout will be live and exclusive on Sky TV Channel 191 / Freesat 403 and will also be available worldwide courtesy of a live stream on www.irishtv.ie
Coyle enjoyed an excellent amateur career of his own prior to hanging up his vest and turning professional in 2007. The former Irish Senior champ beat two time Thai Olympian Manon Boonjumnong to claim Gold for Ireland at the World Military Championships in 2005 during an amateur career that included bouts with the likes of Jean Pascal, Andre Berto and Anthony Dirrell, all world class amateurs who went on to establish themselves as huge names in the professional ranks.
Coyle has been in training camp in Chicago for the bout but admits he was glued to events in London with Ireland's boxers claiming four Olympic medals. "It’s such an exciting time for boxing in Ireland at the moment. The Irish Olympic team has been such an inspiration to me and I hope I can carry their success and determination into the ring," said Coyle.
"I’m delighted that Irish TV is covering the fight as they are providing a wonderful service for the Irish Diaspora worldwide and they have viewers all over the globe. I have worked with the Irish TV crew in Chicago earlier this year and they are so dedicated and professional with everything they broadcast.
"Everyone in Ireland and the UK will also be able to watch the fight live on Sky TV channel 191 and Freesat 403. The fact that it will also air online on www.irishtv.ie is huge because there will be a lot of people logging on in my adopted home of Chicago."
The live broadcast on Irish TV and Sky TV Channel 191/Freesat 403 will air from 9pm to 11pm on Friday August 17th. The programme will include live commentary from the World Title fight including insightful analysis, debate and discussion before and after the fight as well as highlights from the earlier fights.
"We are thrilled to have secured the contract to broadcast the fight live. Irish TV has an enormous following overseas and I know they will really appreciate getting to see this world title fight live from the Royal Theatre. The fight will also be available on terrestrial television all over Ireland and the UK on Sky TV Channel 191/Freesat 403 and I know it will get massive viewership figures. Henry Coyle is one of the most respected professional boxers in Ireland and he always brings great passion and pride to all his fights," commented Pierce O’Reilly programme producer.
Speaking about the fight and broadcast well-known boxing commentator Jimmy Magee said "Coyle brings great passion to the ring every time he fights on home turf. It was a famous night for Mayo and Ireland when he won his world title last year. I am convinced he can do it again and it’s fantastic that the fight is being broadcast live," stated Magee.
Joining Coyle on the bill is former Irish Amateur teammate Andy Murray who like Olympic Silver medallist John Joe Nevin is based out of the Cavan Boxing Club. Murray takes on Argentina's Sergio Priotti in the Cavan man's first fight since an unsuccessful European title challenge last year, the sole blemish on an otherwise perfect 25 fight career.
A second WBF title fight on the bill will see Manchester's Chris Goodwin contest the vacant Lightweight title with Hungary's Istvan Kiss while there will be plenty of local interest on the card too with an intriguing series of all Irish clashes. Mayo's former Irish Light Heavyweight Champ John Waldron is desperate to regain his Irish title and he can take a step closer to that goal when he takes on Dublin's Brendan Fitzpatrick in a bout that is a must win for both men following recent setbacks.
Roscommon's Darren Cruise is another man with Irish title ambitions and he takes on Donegal man John Hutchinson with the popular Buncrana native making his long awaited pro debut. Cruise will be looking to bounce back from his quarter final defeat in the last Prizefighter event as he targets an Irish title shot before the end of the year. Rounding out the card is an all Mayo affair that will see two Ballyhaunis boxers punching for pay for the first time - against each other as welterweights Michael Waldron and Brandon Peake clash in their pro debuts.
Tickets for the August 17th event priced €40, €60 and €100 are available from the Royal Theatre Box Office on 0818 300 000, Ticketmaster.ie / 0818 719300 and the boxers on the bill.