June 11 Jonny Stapleton
Like an abundance of Irish emigrants Chicago based Mayo fighter Henry Coyle makes the trek home for the Geesala Festival next month, but unlike the thousands of people that partake in the ‘emigrant celebration’ the light middleweight is home to work not party.
The Western Warrior tops his first ever bill in the Royal Theatre, Castlebar on August 12 and is hoping to kick start the Geesala festivities by claiming the WBF Light Middleweight title at Italy’s Elio Cotena’s expense.
Coyle (15-2) claims he is delighted to be fighting at home and is determined to make it a night to remember for his home fans and a night to forget for Cotena.
The 30 year old, who has yet to really fill his much lauded potential, is also eager to claim the less regarded world crown and use it as tool to manoeuvre a shot at the more prestigious straps.
“I’ve been part of a couple of big nights of boxing already here in Castlebar on the undercard to Bernard Dunne and Andy Murray so it’s great now to headline a bill at home and in a world title fight.
“The Royal Theatre is a fantastic venue and it’s brought some of the worlds biggest entertainers to Mayo and hopefully this will be a night for the people of Mayo to savour as well. I’ve been training hard in Chicago because I was hoping that something big like this would come up.
“My last fight was in May but after that it was straight back in the gym. I’ve had to break training camp to come back home for the press conference but it will be straight back to business again in Chicago when I get back and then the countdown will really be on to fight night.”
The tagline for the event is “The Night the West will be won” but Cotena is promising to spoil the party by taking the WBF title back to Italy and it’s hard to argue with his bloodlines. His grandfather, also Elio Cotena represented Italy at the 1968 Olympics before going on to win the European Featherweight title as a professional and his grandson is determined to emulate his namesake’s success.
“He’s got fighting pedigree in his blood so you have to respect that and his achievements to date,” admitted Coyle. “He recently won the IBF Mediterranean title up at Middleweight and I’ve watched that fight but I will let my trainer, Sam Colonna and my Dad study it in a bit more detail and I’m sure they will come up with the right game plan for the fight to make sure that the WBF title gets a new home in Mayo.”
Father and manager Gerry is hopeful that next months bout could be the start of some big nights of boxing in Mayo. Coyle snr believes fans usually having to travel west across the Atlantic to catch a glimpse of the fighter, who lost to Neil Sinclair, won’t have to go further west than Castlebar in future.
Gerry Coyle is not only confident, that unlike the recent IPBA Galway show, the August show will be a success he believes his son can bring big time boxing back to The West.
Indeed Coyle the Geesela native stressed ‘big name’ champions are already tempted to bring their boxing gold to The West.
“This will be a huge night for Geesala and Mayo,” said Coyle Senior. “We’re very confident that it will sell out quickly. The interest already has been phenomenal and the support we’ve had locally has been unbelievable. The fight will be on the same weekend as the Geesala Festival and there will be a huge crowd of people home for that from the US and the UK and they have always been great supporters of Henry right from his amateur days. There is a terrific undercard as well with some of the best in the west in action so hopefully it will be a famous night for Mayo and the first of many more.
“We are determined to build on this and we have already had talks with some of the big name world champions from the US and they have indicated that they would come to Ireland to fight Henry so that’s what we’re looking at for down the road. That’s all for the future though, the only thing Henry is looking at now is winning that WBF world title against Cotena and that will open the doors to even bigger fights and bigger nights.”