Coyle set to fight McKenna

Coyle vs McKenna Confirmed for October
Whilst Luke Campbell has been preparing for the biggest fight of his career so far against World Champion Jorge Linares, Hull’s other boxing star Tommy ‘Boom Boom’ Coyle has long been considering his next move.

After much anticipation, it is now confirmed that he will face undefeated Irishman Tyrone McKenna on 21st October in Belfast.

A former opponent and long-time friend of Luke’s, it is fair to say that Tommy hasn’t quite enjoyed the same exposure as the Olympic gold medallist. Since the two fought back in 2015 in an eagerly anticipated derby, ‘Boom Boom’ has fought a further three times, winning two of the three. The one defeat came after a challenge for the British Title against fellow Yorkshiremen Tyrone Nurse. After what can perhaps be best described as a thrilling yet brutal encounter – something we have come to expect from Tommy, the Hull man lost via Unanimous Decision leaving fans wondering what is next. It was the sort of fight where we saw Tommy put so much into it that naturally we were left wondering ‘can he do this again?’. Yet, here we are eagerly awaiting his next fight, or “tear up” as he likes to refer to it.

Hailing from Belfast, Mckenna boasts an undefeated record of 14-0-1 (6 KO’s) from 15 fights, albeit at a limited level. However, perhaps the most notable of his attributes is his freakishly tall frame; the Irishman stands 6’1” which is extremely large for a Super Lightweight. Comparing this to Tommy’s 5’7” frame is certainly a cause for concern for the fans at least, but Tommy’s thoughts on it are pretty straightforward, stating via Twitter “I don’t plan on going around him I plan on going through him”. Anyone who has followed Tommy’s career will know that he is being deadly serious.

If we were to choose one fight to sum Tommy up, the Nurse fight epitomises exactly what he brings as a boxer; whilst he isn’t blessed with the skills of Floyd Mayweather or the power of Gennady Golovkin, he is always guaranteed to leave everything in the ring. Fortunately for the fans, this often translates into entertaining fights. That said, it would be unfair to dismiss the ability that has brought him thus far as a boxer – one certainly has to know the way around a ring at least, but ability manifests itself in different forms. With Tommy, it is perhaps not so much his boxing ability per se that catalyses people’s curiosity, but more so his vulnerability. Anyone who has followed his career will relate to this. We saw him demonstrate his boxing ability as he out-boxed the well respected Derry Matthews for almost 10 rounds, before painfully demonstrating his vulnerability in catching a flush left hook on the chin to end proceedings. We saw the absolute spectacle he produced for the fans in his knockdown-filled brawl with Daniel Brizuela which saw both men dropped 4 times. We even saw him on the canvas and in trouble against Martin Gethin in what was in many ways considered a ‘keep busy’ fight prior to his fight with Campbell. As these examples demonstrate, it is fair to say you never know what is going to happen when Tommy climbs through the ropes.

In his most recent fight, following his loss to Nurse, we saw Tommy impressively dispatch Rakeem Noble in a fast-paced third round stoppage. Though Noble was a late replacement to Kofi Yates and thus probably didn’t pose a huge threat, it was certainly good to see Tommy seemingly back to his best. It is now 6 months since he last fought and fans are eagerly awaiting his next fight, as I am sure Tommy is too. It is no secret that his main aim in the sport is to become British Champion; something he has mentioned repeatedly in recent months. So it is now a case of finding the best route to that title, and currently standing in his way is Tyrone McKenna.

Whilst Coyle is only slightly older than his opponent, in terms of boxing age it can be argued that McKenna is by far the younger man. There are pros and cons. Tommy has had more fights and has mixed with a better quality of opposition, from which he will have gained priceless experience which could pay dividends.

However, adopting a different viewpoint it is fair to say that Tommy has more miles on the clock, so to speak, especially given the brutality of some of his fights. In such well matched encounters, it is often such subtle advantages that make the biggest difference and in many cases ultimately define the winner. That is, of course, without considering any physical advantages which may well be a significant factor in this fight. One thing is for sure regardless of the outcome, Tommy will bring his trademark heart and determination. Whether this will be enough on the night, we can only wait and see.

But it will certainly make for a great fight. Roll on October 21st.

Owen Hammond

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