Coyle: I’m a big underdog; I will knock Campbell out

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Tommy CoyleDespite the dodgy name ‘The Rumble on the Humber’ has the city of Hull in a frenzied state of anticipation for this Saturday night when two hometown boys will be pitted against one another not only for local bragging rights, but also for a significant step towards a World title shot.

Lightweights Tommy Coyle (21-2, 10 KO’s) and Luke Campbell (11-0, 9 KO’s) have known each other for years but whatever association they once had will now be put to one side as they prepare for the biggest occasion of their professional careers.

Coyle has the edge in experience having had twice as many pro outings, but Campbell is definitely the more polished operator whose skills were honed to an impeccable standard during a lengthy amateur career that culminated in Olympic gold in 2012.

It is that factor, along with an edge in size, speed and power, that has led the bookies to favour Campbell heavily going into this one.

Surprisingly, Coyle professed to agree with them in an interview with World Boxing News, in which he gave a fairly objective account of where he and Campbell stand on the approach to their meeting. He gives due credit to his opponent and shows humility in assessing his own progress so far.

“I am a big underdog; Luke’s an exceptional fighter. But I am a professional, and I have prepared as hard as ever, it doesn’t matter if I am fighting Luke Campbell or Donald Duck.”

“I didn’t expect to get this far in my career. I really believe I am too much for Luke Campbell at this stage of his career, I really do, and I am going to go in there and knock him out. I’ll prove all the critics wrong on Saturday.”

Coyle will need to produce something along those lines to defeat a man whose skill-set is far superior to his own, and it seems he is already preparing himself to walk through a fair bit of punishment himself in order to get the win.

“I’m not the greatest fighter, I’ve said this many times. But there are two types of people – you are born a certain way, you can learn how to be a better boxer, but I am a Coyle – my Dad said to me when I was five years old that pain is just an emotion, and I’ve had that drummed into me so you will need to knock me out cold to beat me.”

Coyle showed his grit by getting up off the canvas four times against Daniel Brizuela last year in a turbulent clash that saw numerous points deductions and eight knockdowns when all was said and done.

(Campbell stopped Brizuela in five rounds eight months later in a one-sided affair). He was also dropped by Martin Gethin last time out and managed to rise despite a reported burst ear drum.

He doubts Campbell will be able to replicate that kind of stubbornness if the going gets tough in Craven Park Stadium on August 1st.

“If I can find a way to get up, I will, and I’ll keep coming at you – I don’t believe that Luke Campbell has that in his DNA. He’s an exceptional fighter, and he’s better than I’ll ever be, but this fight won’t come down to that, I’m too much for him too early.”

Whether Coyle will be able to apply serious pressure before Campbell begins to consistently find the target seems to be the crux of this fight. If he can, we will see how the Olympian reacts to professional adversity for the first time. If he can’t, we are likely to see a stoppage victory for Campbell.