In boxing one punch can change a fight but, on Friday night, one punch changed Tommy Coyle’s career.
The irony is that as his future was nearly derailed by a left hook from Derry Matthews not so long ago, but Coyle came back to hammer the final nail into the coffin of Michael Katsidis’ career with a similarly thunderous left hook to the temple, in front of an adoring home crowd in Hull.
The raw emotion etched over Coyle’s face after the stunning knockout told us all of his unbridled delight at the victory. His win over Katsidis is definitely his most defining to date.
However, many felt that Coyle’s date with destiny would end in disappointment against Katsidis. The 34-year-old's best days are definitely behind him, but he still carries blistering power.
Going into the fight it was the Aussie veteran who is vaunted for being a power puncher, not Coyle. Yet it was Katsidis who was sent to the canvas in the second round by a beautifully executed left hook, which was reminiscent of the punch Coyle was knocked out with by Derry Matthews.
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However, there were to be no repeats of that catastrophe this time out as it was Katsidis who was finished off in emphatic fashion. To his credit, Katsidis bravely tried to get back up, but it was clear that he was devoid of his senses - the fight had to be stopped.
If the early knockout surprised the fans, then it staggered Coyle, who confessed in the post fight interview that he had prepared for ‘war’. The Hull native is as honest as the day is long and he admitted humbly to IFL TV that Katsidis was one of his heroes.
In an amazingly poignant and emotional interview with IFL TV, Coyle stated, "I told you somebody would get knocked out," but then he conceded, “I just didn’t know who it would be.”
Thankfully it was Coyle who tasted the ecstasy of victory rather than the agony of defeat. The self deprecating Coyle then stated: “I know I am not the best fighter in world. But I’m gonna put bums on seats.
"I’m gonna give value for money. I’m gonna get stuck in and leave everything on the line every time.”
Personally, I just love that refreshing honesty from a fighter. Coyle has a lot of weaknesses, but he also has a lot of strengths. None more so than his heart and desire to be the best he can be.
He is not the greatest ever boxer. He will taste defeat again. But he may just have the necessary tools to win a world title. If he fails, it certainly won’t be for a lack of effort and determination. You can be sure that Coyle’s commitment will make sure he teases out every last drop of talent he has in his tank.
One punch altered the course of Coyle’s career. Will this new direction lead to the final destination of a world a title?
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