Undefeated boxer Ryan ‘The Irish Outlaw’ Coyne (18-0, 8 KOs) will do battle with George ‘Honey Boy’ Blades (22-4, 15 KOs) on “Super Brawl Saturday” Jan. 14 at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.
Coyne, from St. Louis, Mo., held the World Boxing Council U.S. National cruiserweight championship in addition to the World Boxing Association’s Fedelatin cruiserweight championship before he made the move to light heavyweight division where he is currently ranked No. 4 by the WBA and No. 13 by the WBC.
The Irish Outlaw was a participant in the popular television series The Contender during Season 4, and he is now being promoted by the legendary Don King. Ryan returns home to St. Charles after taking his crowd-pleasing style on the road where he’s racked up four knockouts during his last five fights.
Blades hails from Indianapolis and should provide a stiff test for the Outlaw. Honey Boy challenged Zsolt Erdei for the WBO world title and fought 11 tough rounds before finally being bested by the undefeated titleholder.
“I want to thank everyone at Team Outlaw and most importantly give God glory as well for this great chance,” Blades said. “I’m coming to put on a show and give the fans their money’s worth. I know Coyne is young and hungry and he’s probably looking past me, but I’ve been in the gym working hard. I look forward stepping back under the lights the night before the Super Bowl.”
Coyne is looking forward to meeting Blades.
“George Blades is a tough-as-nails fighter who has competed at the highest levels of the sport,” Coyne said. “He just challenged for the light heavyweight championship of the world from the current longest-reigning champion in the division, Zsolt Erdei.
“George brings tremendous ring savvy, a solid punch and a wealth of experience to the ring. This is going to be a great fight but rest assured I will come out of the ring with my undefeated record intact.”
Coyne plans to continue his ascent to the top of the light heavyweight division. Towards that end, Coyne recently brought in former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Michael Moorer as his head trainer. Moorer, the first southpaw heavyweight champion and former trainer of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, is helping bring out the best in The Irish Outlaw.
“Michael Moorer has brought about some big changes in my overall game,” Coyne said from is camp in St. Louis. “When my team and I made the decision to bring Michael in as head trainer, the biggest reason was to get me to fight more like the southpaw I am. Michael has me doing all the things that a southpaw should. The difference has been a true breakthrough for me.”
Ryan has moved to No. 4 in the WBA light heavyweight rankings in November and will make his official debut at this weight against Blades.
“I'm very excited about my first official fight at the light heavyweight limit of 175 pounds,” Coyne said. “When I turned pro, I was actually a heavyweight and then campaigned in the cruiserweight division for most of my career. Cruiserweight is a bit of an anomaly for an American fighter, so we made the decision to cut down to the light heavyweight division because we believe I can be even more effective there as I was at the 200-pound limit. We decided to gradually work into the weight class fighting at catch weights on the way down. I fought my last fight at 177 and I felt incredibly strong for that weight. I won't have any issues making 175, but everyone in the division will have issues with me.”
Regarding his career in 2011, Coyne said, “I felt like 2011 was a tough year in terms of a lot of starts and stops. We had a world title fight fall out on us six days before the bout, but I think it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we re-chartered the course, re-tooled the roster a little bit, and changed our march up the mountain. I really feel like I can shake this division up, and I plan on showing exactly why when George Blades becomes my 20th professional casualty on Jan.14.”
“We plan to be a staple in the light heavyweight division in 2012, and I look forward to becoming the WBA’s mandatory challenger to the champion Beibut Shumenov. And there’s also IBF champion Tavoris Cloud—who is also promoted by Don King. Tavoris is a great fighter who always puts on an exciting show. We’d take that challenge as well.”
Also on the card is local St Louis prospect Tyrone “TNT” Chatman (8-1-1) as well as the return of “The Punching Policeman” Sam Hill versus the explosive Chris Eppley (10-2) in what figures to be an exciting light heavyweight bout. Hard punching Brandon Baue and the rugged Nick Reeder are also scheduled for the event.
For tickets, call Scott “Skootch” Hanke (314) 607-8025 and for more information on Ryan ‘The Irish Outlaw’ Coyne, go to www.irishoutlawboxing.com .
LAS VEGAS ...Since the final bell of rang on April 16, 2011, boxing fans and the media have been clamoring for a rematch between Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto. Golden Boy Promotions and DiBella Entertainment are proud to announce that it's now official and tickets for "Ortiz vs. Berto II" will go on sale this SATURDAY, Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. PST. The 12-round welterweight fight is set for Saturday, Feb. 11 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The fight will be televised live on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing at 10 p.m. EST/PST (delayed on the West Coast).
Tickets priced at $300, $150, $100 and $50 go on sale Saturday, Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. PST. and will be sold at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith's Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com .