"I think with my amateur background and the amount of top athletes that I’ve shared the ring with and held my own against, I think I can be fast-tracked definitely...I’m looking forward to when I start stepping up into the bigger fights. I feel I will grow so much in those fights. I’ll want to show the world that I belong there,” stated middleweight Connor Coyle, who talked about his upcoming clash with Danny Pastrana. Check it out!
PC: Connor, how is everything going in preparation for your June 16th bout against, Danny Pastrana?
CC: Everything is going great, Percy. This is by far the best camp I’ve ever had. I’m more fit, stronger, and have had the best rounds of sparring.
PC: You had a very busy 2017, fighting five times, but we are in June and you’re having your first fight of the year. Was that by design? What has kept you out of the ring this year?
CC: No, this wasn’t our plan. I picked up some nagging hand injuries during my last fight in November, that’s what held us back. We were due to fight in March, but I wasn’t fully ready to punch with intention.
PC: You are seven fights into your pro career and you have already faced 3 undefeated guys. Is the level of opposition you have been in with a testament to your very successful amateur background?
CC: I honestly don’t rate anyone that I’ve been in with; everyone is dangerous. But I think the better opponents I face, the better I become. I’m a beginner at the professional side and need to build up some experience and then I’ll target the bigger fish. But right now, we are planning to start stepping it up after this title fight and start moving up the ranks. But I’ll focus on that once I get June 16th out of the way.
PC: Do you feel like because you are 28 years old and only seven fights into your career that you have to be on more of a fast track than most fighters at this stage in their career?
CC: I think with my amateur background and the amount of top athletes that I’ve shared the ring with and held my own against, I think I can be fast-tracked definitely. But before that, I still need the rounds and experience built up.
PC: Have you adjusted to splitting time between Florida and Ireland yet or is that a part of your career that you are still getting used to?
CC: I’m adapting to it greatly. I feel at home here also. My team makes me feel very welcome and I’m grateful for the people I have around me.
PC: I know you have a young daughter. Does that increase the urgency because of the sacrifice you have to make to leave her to come to the States?
CC: The only hard thing about coming here is leaving my little girl. But she’s the fuel to my fire right now and I’m doing this for her.
PC: Nearly 7 months outside of activity, how do you feel heading into this fight both mentally and physically?
CC: I’m physically and mentally strong. I’m without a doubt in the best place I can be right now. My mental game is on. I’m focused on the job I have in front of me.
PC: As you move up the ranks and get in front of more eyes, what are some of the things you want to showcase?
CC: I’m looking forward to when I start stepping up into the bigger fights. I feel I will grow so much in those fights. I’ll want to show the world that I belong there.
PC: The top of the middleweight division is pretty much solidified. What do you see when you look around the landscape of the division in terms of prospects and up-and-comers?
CC: I feel the middleweight division is blooming; a lot of great fighters around and a lot of great fighters coming up through the rankings. I think big-time boxing is coming back! And I will be ready when my opportunity comes.
PC: The Irish MMA scene is well represented with Conor McGregor as well as James Gallagher. Boxing seems to have a void for a fighter out of Ireland. I’m sure you are planning on filling that void here in the near future.
CC: I’ll focus on my own career and try to build myself up first. I respect Conor for what he’s achieved, very inspirational, but we have different ways of doing things. I can’t speak the way he speaks. I like to stay humble and let my fighting do the talking. But he can do both. I just don’t have that in me; not yet anyway… maybe later (laughing)! I like my own approach at the moment.
PC: What are your thoughts of McGregor and Gallagher and the crowds they bring in, the amount of support they get, and them as fighters and their representation of Ireland?
CC: The home following is massive. They truly get behind any athlete that’s elite level and pushes them on. The fan base is huge!
PC: I wish you the best of luck on the 16th and we will speak after the fight. Is there anything you would like to add before I let you go?
CC: Thanks Percy. Yes, I’d like to give a few shout outs and mentions to the people who’ve helped me throughout. I’d like to thank my old amateur gym St Joseph’s BC for helping me out with training every time before I leave for the States; Cahir Duffy, Kevin Duffy, and Liam McLaughlin. Also, my conditioning coach at home, Seamus Fox [FF Fitness]. My sponsors who’ve been keeping me going whilst home in Ireland, Olympus Fitness, Classique Floor Design, Paul’s Butchers, G&K Contracts, Evolve Men’s Wear, Thanks Josh Clothing [J Mclean], The Bentley Bar, Doire Dress Designs, The Metro Bar, Doherty’s Bakery, Whiterose Clinic and Magic Ink Tattoo. Also, to all of my sponsprs here in Florida who support me for each fight, Carevalet [Tampa], Spinnergy Fitness [Jim Conahan], Private All Star Cars and The Body Works [St. Pete].
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]