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, tonight (Friday ) when he makes the first defence of his WBF Light Middleweight title against Marcelo Rodriquez. The two men came face to face for the first time on Wednesday ahead of tonight’s fight where they were introduced to the crowd at the annual Belmullet festival.
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 tonight as he looks to turn back the challenge of the heavy hitting Argentinean. 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 from 9pm to 11pm.
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.
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,”