Connor “The Kid” Coyle (16-0, 7 KO’s) captured the NABA middleweight title after winning a spirited split decision against Atlanta, GA’s Antonio Todd (13-6, 7 KO’s) Saturday evening at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, FL.
Broadcast live on the Bally Sports Network, Coyle controlled the early rounds by outworking Todd. Coyle found a home for crisp right hands and left hooks but Todd displayed a solid chin.
Todd, who was coming off a career best victory against top 10 rated Hugo Centeno in January, provided a tough test for Coyle and had his moments during this entertaining ten round contest. Fighting out of the Philly Shell defensive style, Todd worked behind a solid jab and his movement created challenges for Coyle.
In the tenth round, Todd buzzed Coyle with a good shot and looked for the knockout but Coyle recovered and battled back. After the final bell, the crowd provided a round of applause for both fighters.
Judge Alexander Levin’s scorecard of 96-94 for Todd was overruled by tallies of 97-93 and 96-94 in favor of Coyle.
“Todd was an awkward fighter but that’s what we were expecting,” said Coyle, who hails from Derry, Ireland and fights out of Pinellas Park, FL. “This fight was a great experience against an opponent with a tricky style. He’d give a lot of good fighters trouble with his movement and ring smarts. With that said, I controlled the early rounds and pressed the fight as much as I could. I thought for sure we won the fight seven rounds to three or maybe 6-4 so the (scorecard for Todd) really surprised me.”
Coyle’s promoter, Jody Caliguire of Firefist Boxing Promotions, was proud of his fighter for earning the hard-fought victory.
“Winning the NABA title and earning a ranking in the top 10 is a big move for his career. Connor’s now 16-0 and has a great team behind him. We’re looking forward to bigger opportunities in the near future.”