Henry Coyle says he will be fulfilling a lifetime’s ambition when he steps between the ropes at the Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar, Co. Mayo on the Hunky Dorys Fight Night on November 15. It will be the Mayo man’s first pro outing on home soil and it couldn’t be much closer to home for his sizable fan club from Geesala.
"It’s always been a dream of mine to fight as a pro in Ireland," explained Coyle who has won 8 of his 9 pro fights by knockout. "To get a chance right here at home in Mayo is the icing on the cake. The last time I fought at home was for my very last amateur fight so it will be great to come back as a professional now."
Coyle will be having his first scheduled 10 rounder on the card which is headlined by former European Super Bantamweight Champion, Bernard Dunne. "It’s going to be some night," predicted the Coyle before adding, "and I’ll be looking to put on a big show." The light middleweight says he’s looking forward to showcasing the skills he’s developed since taking the difficult decision to leave home and relocate to Chicago eighteen months ago to launch his pro career.
The former Irish Senior Champion said, "I’ve worked a lot on sitting down on my punches and I’m definitely punching a lot harder now. I think when you make the move into the pro’s you’re life really is dedicated to boxing so it’s only natural you’ll start to improve in every area."
With all of his eight wins coming inside the scheduled distance Coyle is developing a reputation Stateside as a knockout artist but he’s refusing to get carried away. "To be honest I don’t read too much into the knockouts. Actually the main thing I work on in the gym is my technique because you could work on that every day of your life and still find things to improve on."
Despite being based in the States, Coyle has been able to keep his fans back home up to date courtesy of a regular column in the Western People. "It’s been great to keep a diary of what’s been going on since I moved to the States and it was only recently when I was at home I realised how widely it was read in Mayo. Old ladies were coming up to me in the street who I’d never seen in my life, wishing me luck and telling me that they were following my progress in the Western People."
It hasn’t all been plain sailing though for Coyle who suffered the lone defeat of his career in his third fight when he was stopped by Omar Bell. On reflection he admits that coming to terms with the defeat was more difficult than he could ever have imagined.
"It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with", admitted Coyle. "To be honest I didn’t sleep for a month and a half after that and it was on my mind every second of the day. It took me a while to come around but looking back on it now it taught me that you should always be cautious in that first round and let yourself get warmed up and in to a fight properly.
"It was the first time I’ve ever been down in my life but I got back up and I felt I was ok to continue but the referee didn’t give me that chance. If I’d been allowed to continue that night I’m certain I would have had my hand raised at the end of the night but the referee made the call and I accept that.
"It’s happened to the best of them, it happened Bernard Dunne and he’s bounced back and it happened Amir Khan recently so you just have to deal with these things and move on. In a sense it takes the burden of being unbeaten away from you because that’s a pressure in itself but it’s only made me doubly determined to succeed. I got into professional boxing to see how far I could go in the sport and I want to leave having absolutely no regrets. My goal is to win a world title and I believe I can bring one back to Mayo."
Coyle’s not running before he can walk though and he insists his first priority is bagging an Irish title. "It would be an absolute honour to fight for an Irish title. I was Irish Champion as an amateur and it would mean so much to me to do the same as a professional. I’d also like to win the Illinois State title because I have a lot of loyal fans in Chicago and that’s another ambition of mine."
The Irish title is currently held by Jamie Moore but Coyle doesn’t foresee a showdown between the two anytime soon. "Jamie’s a fantastic fighter who I’d love to spar with because I really admire him. I know I’m not in his league yet but that’s obviously what I’m working towards. I hear that Jamie will be fighting for the European title soon so he might vacate the Irish which might give me a chance to fight for it."
In fact it’s another Moore that could feature in the opposite corner if Coyle does get his opportunity at the Irish light middleweight belt – James Moore from Co. Wicklow but like Coyle, now based in the U.S.
"I’d fight James Moore in the morning," enthused Coyle. "I think he’s said that he’d like the fight as well. I honestly believe that would be such a punishing fight that it would be a career ending fight for the loser but I can only see one winner. That would be something else though, we’d a great rivalry in the amateurs I’m sure it would be the fight of the decade if we met again in the pros."
The undercard for the November 15 event at the Breaffy House Resort features welterweight prospects John O’Donnell and Stephen Haughian alongside Tyrone’s Damian Taggart and the pro debut of Sheffiled teenage protégé, Steve Barnes.
Tickets for the Hunky Dorys Fight Night priced from €60 and went on sale yesterday, Friday, October 3, from 9am at Ticketmaster and all usual outlets.