By Phil D. Jay
Unbeaten southpaw Ryan Coyne gets an unexpected chance to claim a first world title next month after a last minute fight change led WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly into the path of the St. Louis native.
Coyne, 30, got the surprise call early last week that the Welshman is to feature on the Abner Mares v Anselmo Moreno undercard after cancelling his Cardiff bout with Vyacheslav Uzelkov, and took no hesitation in accepting the challenge.
'The Irish Outlaw’ has quietly amassed a 21-0 record under the radar of the mainstream 175lbers to position himself as a prime contender and told WBN that he plans on derailing any plans that Cleverly has of using him to enhance his name Stateside.
“I always follow current events closely - economics, foreign relations, government, etc, and the fight game is a bit of a mix of all of the aforementioned,” Coyne told World Boxing News.
“When I saw that Cleverly's next title defence had been suddenly shifted half way across the world from Cardiff to Los Angeles, I was immediately intrigued.
“My management has excellent connections with all of the top class promoters in this business and we soon came to an agreement with Frank Warren to challenge Nathan, and when I received official word I was grinning from ear to ear.
“This title tilt means everything to me. I've pursued this opportunity with relentless fury. The tribulations of boxing have broken lesser men, but my resolve to capture this title has never waned and more than ever I am ready to become WBO light-heavyweight champion of the world on November 10th.
“Cleverly is very intelligent. Not just as a fighter, but equally outside of the ring. He knows that in order to lure in the bigger names you mention he has to be proactive to break the inertia. That's why he's coming to the states. It's a smart play by him and Frank.
“I've had many people say to me that I should feel disrespected, I'm being looked over, etc. I stopped taking things personally a long time ago. You simply have to leave that mentality on the sidelines if you want to flourish in boxing.
“He can look ahead to a tear up with whomever he likes, but it is all immaterial because he's not leaving America with his belt.”
The challenger believes that Cleverly gets something of a raw deal when it comes to the British public criticizing his choice of opponents, although Coyne himself has the utmost respect for the world title holder.
“Nathan is a great champion. He is undefeated with an electric style. His fights are damn exciting, as are mine, but it's been my observation that he gets a bit of a hard go from the British critics and press about his choice of opposition and since the fight was announced I've received several inquiries from the U.K. wishing me luck to dethrone the Welshman.
“The only thing ‘Clev’ can do is take on who is put in front of him. He can control his opponents as much as I can control the weather, but 24 times he's been to trial and 24 times he's had his hand raised. Furthermore, while I certainly appreciate all the support from across the Atlantic, I don't want his countryman rooting against him. No fighter who conducts their self as a class competitor as he does should have that.”
An underdog victory for Coyne on at the Staples Center on November 10 would instantaneously catapult him into contention for some of the tasty match-ups that Cleverly himself has his eye on (against Shumenov and Hopkins), although the American revealed that there is a rematch clause for a UK return.
“As we all know Uncle Frank (Warren) is bat-sh*t hard in a negotiation and he's not conceding any advantage to the opposition unless he sees an angle. And it's just that. I know clear as day that this is a gambit to dangle the carrot in front of the rabbit so he can secure unification or big American name to travel to the Millennium for the coveted showdown Clev and Frank have spoken of.
“That's not materialized by fighting throughout the UK thus far and they have designs on making a splash stateside and apparently they think I'm the stiff for the gig. I love proving people wrong, and what better situation than this.
“This is an exceptional opportunity for me though and I expect to take it. Golden Boy is one of the top outfits here in America and probably the most powerful broker in the game at the current time,” Coyne continued.
“This is a great opportunity to soak up the spotlight and allow me to flip the script for a moment as this fight is going to be broadcast on BoxNation in the UK and for all my class fans in Ireland.
“My prediction is my 22nd victory and my first world title. Make no mistake, I know that Nathan is far more accomplished than I am at this point in my career, but I know exactly what I'm capable of doing and I'm winning this fight.
“I'm not a huge trash talker. I don't need to drag a man's name through the mud, beat my chest or vilify my opponents to get myself motivated to scrap. All I need to do is believe in myself and win, and on November 10th I'll do just that!
“All the great British fans are going to get a first-hand account of what 'The Irish Outlaw' brings to the fold and they will be begging for more after I do a job on Mr. Cleverly next month.
“Everyone will be very familiar with me when I come to Cardiff for the return bout.”
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net