Chicago-based Mayoman Henry Coyle's bid to become Irish light middleweight champion came up short when Neil Sinclair stopped him in the third round of their fight at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Friday night.
Sinclair started well and used his reach and jab to find a strong rhythm early on. This theme continued in the second when the older man's right hand began to find its target.
Just before the end of the second stanza Sinclair (32-7) caught Coyle (10-2) with a right hand that shook the Geesala man. A few more follow-up right hands put Coyle to the canvas.
The Mayoman survived the count as the bell rang for the end of the round.
Though Coyle had a minute to try and shake off the effects of the knockdown, Sinclair put pressure on him immediately at the start of the third, and it was enough for the referee to step in and end the contest.
“We had a game plan and the game plan did not work. We wanted to drag the fight into the later rounds where Henry’s super fitness would tell, but it did not happen, “ Gerry Coyle, Henry's father, told Midwest Radio after the fight.
“Henry is okay physically, he is down, very down and he will be for a few days, but life goes on,” continued Coyle senior, who complimented Sinclair and added that Team Coyle would sit down and decide how to proceed in the future.
“We’ll be back, bigger and better, and we will have more good nights, please God.”
The defeat will come as a bitter disappointment to Coyle, but the victory may start an Indian summer in the career of 35-year-old Belfast native Sinclair.