British lightweight Tommy Coyle is gaining a reputation among hardcore fight fans as an all-action fighter, mainly because of his absolutely thrilling brawl with Argentina’s Daniel Brizuela on Feb. 22 in Hull, England.
It is a definite fight of the year candidate, which Coyle won by 12th-round knockout to finish a fight that featured blazing action throughout and both men getting dropped four times apiece.
Coyle (19-2, 8 KOs) returned in May for an eight-round decision against a novice opponent setting himself up for a fight that could be another classic against Australia’s Michael Katsidis, one of boxing’s purest action warriors of the past 25 years.
Katsidis (30-6, 24 KOs) has been in several tremendous fights, including his all-time classic first fight against Graham Earl as well as battles with Juan Manuel Marquez, Juan Diaz and Czar Amonsot.
So when Coyle and Katsidis meet on Oct. 25 at the Ice Arena in Coyle’s hometown of Hull it will be the new generation of action fighter, Coyle, taking on the fading one in Katsidis, who has won two fights in a row since ending a two-year retirement in March, but is certainly near the end.
And wouldn’t you know? Coyle is a Katsidis fan.
“I used to be a big fan of his and I still am a big fan of Michael Katsidis,” Coyle said. “I’ve watched his fights for years. When I was offered the fight I took it straight away. I think all the boxing fans know I like to be involved in exciting fights and I’m sure this one will be another one of them.”
The fight Coyle had with Brizuela is the kind of fight that can take years off a career, but the 25-year-old Coyle said he does not believe it caused any lasting damage.
“I don’t think it took much out of me, I’m only young,” Coyle said. “I’ve got fresh legs. It’s not like I’ve been involved in 10 of those fights. It was just the one. I was in fantastic shape. I could’ve done 15 rounds that night.
“My lasting memory was picking myself up each time from the canvas. As the counts got bigger, the crowd got louder. That’s what picked me up and pulled me through fighting at home. I’ve got fantastic fans. But that adds character to someone generally. It’s certainly done that to me. It’s given me confidence. I was in there against a world class fighter and I was on the canvas four times. To come back to win a fight which, many said has been fight of the year, it shows character. It shows I can dig down into the trenches. It’s second nature to me.”
The way Katsidis and Coyle both go after opponents, it won’t be a surprise at all if they have to show that character Coyle was talking about and get off the canvas -- maybe even a few times -- come Oct. 25.