Mayo light middleweight Henry Coyle (10-2, 8 KOs) will return to the ring at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana this Saturday night when he fights Marcus Luck (9-17-1, 3 KOs) in a contest scheduled for eight rounds.
Coyle has been out of action since May 15 of last year, when his dream of lifting the Irish light middleweight title was ended by Neil Sinclair, who stopped him in the third round of their fight.
Since then, Coyle broke a toe in July, which further put his ring return on ice. After returning to Chicago and getting back into shape, Coyle was all set to fight on February 20 when a freak accident four days before his last fight saw him slip on ice and tear left ankle ligaments, forcing him to pull out of the fight.
“I am looking forward to getting back into action. It has been a long haul, I can tell you,” Chicago-based Coyle told IrishCentral Monday.
The Geesala native got in a lot of rounds with sparring partners ahead of this challenge.
“I sparred with a lot of the other guys on the card, and I sparred with Angel Hernandez, who fought Peter Manfredo Junior on Saturday night, so I got a lot of work done,” he said.
Coyle is studying up on his opponent this week, but he has been more focused on honing his own skills with trainer Sam Colonna.
“We have tried to incorporate a lot more sideways movement and movement in general. We want to box the first few rounds,” added Coyle.
After a frustrating 12 months, Coyle will take every precaution not to injure himself outside of the ring.
“I just want to be careful this week, but it has been a long slog and touchwood I can get a win on Saturday night. It won’t be as long again ever,” he vowed.
Coyle’s father Gerry will arrive in Chicago this week to work as second in his son’s corner.
Coyle has been busy doing radio interviews in the Chicago area, and he is hopeful that his fans can turn up and make it a memorable Memorial Day weekend for everyone.
“It’s that long since I was in action, and I have been through so much, mentally and physically, so I am just so looking forward to getting into the ring and winning,” he says.
The ankle injury, sustained in such a freak accident, has been a challenge, and the 28-year-old said he would not wish it on anyone, calling it a “bad dose.”
“I still have to be careful with it but it is good you know, it is very good,” he added.
In other news, one Irishman’s misfortune is another Irishman’s opportunity in the latest installment of Prizefighter, set for this weekend York Hall in London.
Wayne McCullough’s much hyped return to action in the short format super bantamweight version of the Prizefighter competition ended last week when he picked up a hand injury that ruled him out of the tournament.
A gutted McCullough, who was set to leave Las Vegas for London, must now look for another avenue to return should he decide to continue his career in the squared circle.
However, McCullough’s loss is Limerick man Willie "Bang Bang" Casey’s (5-0, 4 KOs) gain as he has been drafted in as a late replacement for his compatriot. The 28-year-old will fight Liverpudlian Mark Moran (11-1-1, 3 KOs) in the first round this Saturday night.
Finally, light welterweight Danny O'Connor (12-0, 3 KOs) defeated Broderick Antoine (10-10-1) by unanimous decision after their six round contest at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville in Connecticut. According to boxrec.com, O’Connor will be back in action on June 24 at the Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?