Two proper fighters coming together for a real scrap. That’s the assessment of Derry Matthews’ bout with Tommy Coyle, as both fighters showed huge heart in a fantastic fight.

Coyle, the young 23-year-old, came into the fight with a record of 15 wins and 1 loss. Mathews, the more experienced and renowned tough-guy, had a record of 32 wins, 8 losses and 2 draws. Both men were fighting for the vacant Commonwealth Lightweight Title.

The fight began very quickly with both fighters looking to come forward and dominate. Coyle was the underdog coming into the fight, but dominated it for almost all of the bout. He was busy landing big shots and combinations.

Mathews had his successes in the fight but was largely under constant pressure from the younger Coyle, who showed what a great talent he is. Is was an all action fight and really was one of those fights that has you on the edge of your seat.

Mathews was beginning to look as though he was feeling the effects of Coyle’s work and even looked as though he could be forced out of there. Despite this Derry did what he usually does and came good.

Coyle was putting on the pressure and got caught with a huge left hook from Mathews. It was a phenomenal punch that ended the fight. It was completely against the run of things as Coyle really looked to be in control and heading to a shock win.

Following the fight the scenes were great. Mathews rightly celebrated but went to Coyle and lifted him onto the top rope and encouraged the crowd to cheer for their man. This was a fantastic show of sportsmanship and all that separates boxing from most other sports. 

To those outside the sport going into a ring to punch someone and then at the end embrace each other with respect and dignity is odd. For those involved in the noble art it is commonplace.

Before the fight there was lots of animosity but after the fight pure respect was shown and Derry was very honest during the post-fight interview, telling SkySports: “He bullied me today, I've got a lot of respect for him - this man will come again.”

Not often do boxers truly admit such a thing.

Coyle was hugely impressive and made a big impression in his biggest fight so far. Despite being terribly disappointed at the outcome both he and trainer Jamie Moore can be so proud of the performance and look very optimistically to the future. It was a breakout fight for Coyle, who is now going to be watched with great interest.

This was a top fight resulting in a great warrior in Derry Mathews coming through and showing that you can never rule him out, even when being dominated.
Derry Mathews and Tommy Coyle stand tall with pride after putting on a show of grit, determination and heart which was awe inspiring at Craven Park.


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