18 November 2008 – by Cormac Campbell
The 2004 National Senior Finals was the moment Henry Coyle really arrived.
By out-pointing World Bronze Medallist James Moore in Olympic year the Geesala man had upset the applecart.
Fast-forward four years and the rivalry between Coyle and Moore is every bit as potent. Whether the duo get the chance to renew hostilities remains to be seen, but recent comments from the two US based Irishmen would imply that it is something both want.
Speaking exclusively to irish-boxing.com after his homecoming victory over Sergejs Savrinovics in Castlebar, Coyle said that he doesnt know whether the fight will happen, but is confident that he has the attitude and ability to leave his mark on Irish boxing history.
It (a fight v Moore) would be a fight for the fans and you never rule anything out in boxing, he admitted post fight.
But Ill tell you the truth I couldnt tell you who I will be fighting next, Coyles preparations for professional glory began two years ago when he followed the roadmap of so many other Irish boxers including Moore by setting up home in the Untied States.
Ill be honest when I first went out to Chicago I didnt like it I am a homebird. But I love it now. It is the place to be for a boxer. You go down to the gyms and there are five or six boys who can beat you every day of the week – there are a lot of bad ones too. Thats how you learn mixing with better guys.
It hasnt all been a bed of roses for Coyle, in his third professional fight he was stopped by Omar Bell in one round, but Coyle is remarkably diplomatic about the defeat.
I had one setback in my third fight, which still hurts me, but you live and you learn. I know its not going to be an easy road but I am going to win a world title with Gods help. Thats the plan. Its not going to be easy and you have to be well prepared.
After regrouping from the Bell defeat, Coyle picked up where he left off on a spree of quickfire knockout victories to compile a ledger of 8-1 (8KO), but returning home for his tenth fight he proved both his chin and stamina against the durable Savrinovics.
What was equally impressive at the Breaffy House Resort was the volume of support Coyle enjoys despite his Stateside hiatus. Entering the ring to rapturous applause, it took the Western Warrior a full 25 minutes to make his way back to the changing room for this interview after business was done, such was the demand for a quick word from well wishers.
Old friends, he explained.
Mayo people are great supporters and they are due a bit of success and hopefully I can give them that. It was an honour for me to come back and fight in front of my home fans.
One man who knows Coyle better than anyone is his father Gerry, who has been at his sons side from the moment he first laced up a pair of gloves. With typical paternal pride, Gerry believes his son can be a major player in the fight game and despite what his record may suggest, he is more than just a puncher.
There is one thing about Henry Coyle and that is he can fight, he beamed.
Henry could do 25 rounds if he had to. In the later rounds is when he will be at his best. He has a great engine – we did 16 rounds on the pads the other night.
Coyle Senior also stressed the role of his sons supporters in his ongoing success.
A thousand people came to his last amateur fight and it was an honour for us to come here tonight. Wherever he goes there are Mayo people and Irish people so he is well supported and another Irishman Gerry Conway looks after him very well in the States.
If clan Coyle took the reception in Castlebar in their stride the razzmatazz surely came as a shock to Henrys coach Sam Colonna. Having worked with the likes of Angel Manfredy and Andrew Golota, Colonna has seen countless big nights, but he admits that he was amazed by the depth of affection the fight fans of Mayo have for their prodigal son. That said, Colonna understands why there is such a connection.
He really surprised me with his fan base, he enthused.
Ive been out with some of the worlds best fighters and the heat of his people screaming was incredible. He is not a conceited person. He is really a nice person. I met him in another gym and saw that really he was on his own and we started working together. Henry is a very hard worker and if he keeps up the momentum you are going to hear a lot about him – in about a year he will be ready to step up with the big boys.