Undefeated World Boxing Council United States national champion Ryan “The Irish Outlaw” Coyne will return to action on Oct 15, when he faces James Crawford as a co-feature on “CHAMPIONS COLLIDE - A FIGHT FOR THE KIDS” card at the O'Reilly Family Events Center on the campus of Drury University in Springfield, Mo.
Coyne (17-0, 6 KOs), from St. Louis, Mo., also holds the World Boxing Association’s Fedelatin cruiserweight championship, which makes him a dual champion. He is looking to build on the momentum that has catapulted him to the higher echelons of the world rankings as the WBA’s No. 7 cruiserweight contender and the WBC’s No. 13.
The Irish Outlaw was a season four participant in the popular television series The Contender and is now being promoted by the legendary Don King. He will bring his St. Louis fans and crowd-pleasing style to Springfield to take on a serious challenge from Crawford, a battle-tested fighter.
Crawford (40-13-2, 17 KOs) hails from Grinnell, Iowa, and has twice fought for world titles during his lengthy career. He is a skilled professional who has challenged former world champions Danny Green, Jean Pascal, Adrian Diaconu, Sven Ottke, Eric Lucas and Jeff Lacy.
“I've been back in the gym and I'm coming to fight,” Crawford said. “I'm in shape and am coming to spoil Coyne’s future plans.”
Coyne said he will not be looking past Crawford, but he will not allow anyone to stand between him and his dream of fighting and winning a world title.
“Crawford has a lot of world championship experience and has been in some wars,” Coyne said. “His last four fights were against world champions. This will be a good test for me. I’m ready."
Team Irish Outlaw has arranged for former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Michael Moorer as the new head trainer. Moorer, the first southpaw heavyweight champion and former trainer of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, has been brought in to hone the skills of fellow southpaw Coyne.
"I've been blessed to have a great team around me throughout my career,” Coyne said. “Michael was the first southpaw to become win a heavyweight world title, and I'm a southpaw, too.
“His addition to the team as head trainer brings a dynamic that will bolster me and my team. I bring plenty of speed, tenacity, power and athleticism to the ring, and it can only help me to learn from a master how to maximize the natural advantages I possess as a left-hander.”
In addition to utilizing Moorer, Coyne has also made the decision to drop down from the 200-pound limit of cruiserweight to campaign at the 175-pound light heavyweight limit. Coyne believes where he'll gain a size and strength advantage on his march towards a world title in 2012.
Ryan has debuted at No. 7 in the WBA light heavyweight rankings for September 2011.
"Cruiserweight is a wonderful division, but I have no problem making weight at 175 pounds, so I feel like I should take this opportunity to take my power and skills down a division. Overall, the light heavyweight division is a more glamorous division, so it’s a better fit for me” said Coyne.
Also on the card is Springfield’s own world-ranked cruiserweight BJ Flores (25-1) taking on rugged Carolina cruiser Paul Jennette (11-3)