Connor coyle
Connor "The Kid" Coyle.

Coyle wins split decision in Fla.

Connor “The Kid” Coyle captured the North American Boxing Association [NABA] middleweight title after winning a spirited split decision against Antonio Todd last Saturday at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida.

The Derry native, who upped his record to 16-0 [7 KOs], controlled the early rounds by outworking Todd. Coyle found a home for crisp right hands and left hooks but Todd displayed a solid chin.

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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. His ledger dropped to 13-6 [7 KOs].

“Todd was an awkward fighter but that’s what we were expecting,” said Coyle, who fights out of Pinellas Park, Florida. “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.”

Fans can follow Coyle on Instagram @Connor_the_kid_coyle. For more information on Fire Fist Boxing Promotions, visit Firefistboxing.net or Facebook.com/firefistboxing.