By Ryan Burton
Boxingscene recently spoke to undefeated light heavyweight contender Ryan "Irish Outlaw" Coyne (21-0). The St. Louis, MO native is currently training for the biggest fight of his career. On November 10th he faces WBO champion Nathan Cleverly (24-0) at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, The fight will be broadcast by Showtime. Coyne talks about the keys to the fight, his career, and more in this interview.
Boxingscene: First off congrats on getting the fight vs Cleverly. I know you have wanted a title shot for a long time. What are your thoughts on the fight and making your Showtime debut?
Ryan Coyne: Thanks Ryan but there is nothing to congratulate me on yet. A title shot means nothing if you don't maximize the opportunity. I think Cleverly is a fantastic champion. He catches a rash of sh*t from his pundits saying he needs to fight so and so, hasn't fought this or that guy. He can't pick who he fights. He can't be blamed for who Frank Warren puts him in the ring with. His job is to beat whoever is put in front of him, and he's done that every time out the gate. The fight game is one of politics and economics, a lesson I've learned first hand, and a fighter can only fight who's put in front of him. We both have exciting styles and with this fight slated for Showtime, it puts fresh faces in the mix of an already exciting division.
Boxingscene: Do you know much about him? What are the keys to the fight?
Ryan Coyne: Quite a bit actually. I'm truly a student of the game. You have to be acutely aware of everyone and everything around you at all times.. Fighters, promoters, managers, locales, networks, etc. I've watched many of his fights and been an admirer of his style. I always liked this fight, but wasn't exactly sure how it would materialize. Being here in the States is a very unique situation that I absolutely jumped at as soon as it became available. I keep reading about Cleverly planning on shinning in his debut in America. The only shine he will need to concern himself with is the glare in his eye when I'm wearing his belt on November 10th.
Boxingscene: You recently fought but won't have a full training camp. Are you concerned about that?
Ryan Coyne: The training camp situation is not optimum, but that's nothing new to me in this game. Here's the bottom line.. Clevery can clamor for Shumenov, Hopkins, Cloud, but the bottom line is that there is no way any of those guys are taking that fight on 5 weeks notice. Anyone who knows the business knows this. He can call for a unification fight with Muhammad Ali, it doesn't matter. He's fighting me on November 10th. While I'm not going to have a proper 10 week camp, I didn't go on summer vacation. I spent my summer up in Big Bear training with Gennady Golovkin who is emerging as the most murderous puncher in the boxing. I watched former champions, light heavies, cruisers, and even heavies get sent home. Ask Gennady or anyone at The Summit if I'm ready for this. I stayed the duration (of Golovkin's camp), remained razor sharp, because when opportunities like this present themselves you sign on the dotted line and make it happen.
Boxingscene: The past few years you were promoted by Don King and are now a free agent. What your thoughts on your time at DK Promotions?
Ryan Coyne: The last few years were difficult. I didn't sign my soul over to have to be my own promoter, matchmaker, etc, but that's exactly what happened. Sometimes you just have to play out a sh*tty hand. I must be the first fighter in history to get crapped on by the crown, right? You live and you learn. I've spent too much time the last 18 months dwelling on the negative, things I can't control, but that's in the rear view now. Onward and upward.
3. Are there plans for you to fight in Ireland where you have your ethnic roots?
Boxingscene: You have been gradually moving down to light heavyweight over your past few fights. How do you feel at the lighter weight?
Ryan Coyne: I love this weight. I've made a good transition into this division and I feel massively powerful here. Like I said earlier I spent the majority of the summer in Big Bear sparring with Gennady Golovkin staying sharp and trim while I awaited my parole. At first it was a a bit difficult making the weight, and it's still not my favorite part of the transition, but like anything after doing it a few times it becomes routine, a habit. There are a lot of interesting fights in this division and I'm excited to get in the mix.
Boxingscene: Do you have a message for the fans?
Ryan Coyne: I guess this is the part of the interview where I'm supposed to say I want a piece of this or that guy, call out so & so, boast about title aspirations, whatever. I see that all the time so I'll break with tradition a bit. I've got a solid team around me, I'm as motivated as ever, and I'm off of house arrest where I can pursue the opportunities a fighter in my position should be able to. Thanks to our sponsors at Complete Nutrition, Tilted Kilt, and Deuce Brand and most importantly all the fans out there who make boxing the great sport it truly is even if some of the masses have forgotten about it for a bit. Check out our next big move coming in short order at www.irishoutlawboxing.com.
Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter and tune in to The Boxing Lab, BoxingScene's official audio on Tuesdays. The show is hosted by Ernie Gabion, Luis Sandoval and Ryan BurtonTags: Ryan Coyne , Nathan Cleverly , Cleverly-Coyne , Cleverly vs. Coyne