Connor “The Kid” Coyle retained his NABA middleweight championship following a ten round beatdown of Argentina’s Christian Fabian Rios Saturday, April 29 at the Hilton Carillon in St. Petersburg, FL.
Headlining Reyes Fire Fist Boxing’s “Fire on the Bay,” Coyle had a strong opening round, landing hard jabs and thudding body shots. Supported by a loud cheering section, the Derry, Northern Ireland native delivered round after round, peppering Rios with clean punches. Rios was hurt on a few occasions but displayed a tremendous chin and finished the fight on his feet.
Scores were 100-90 on all three scorecards.
With the victory, Coyle improves to 19-0 with 8 knockouts. Rios, who has only been stopped once, slips to 23-18-3 with 7 wins by KO.
“We knew he was a tough guy – he took David Lemieux and Esquiva Falcao the distance,” said Coyle. “I paced myself and landed well-placed punches. That was our gameplan coming into this fight. I did hit him with a lot of solid shots, so I’ve got to give Rios credit for how game he was.”
Coyle, the WBA’s #4 ranked middleweight, believes a showdown with #3 rated Austin “Ammo” Williams is on the horizon.
“We’re the most active middleweights in the rankings. There’s been talk of us fighting but nothing came to fruition so far. I believe he’s fighting again in June so if he handles business, we could hopefully fight in an eliminator or for a world title later this year.”
Coyle’s promoter, Jody Caliguire of Reyes Fire Fist Boxing Promotions, was pleased as well and also envisions a fight with Williams in the near future.
“Connor did a great job tonight – he battered Rios and won all ten rounds. Rios has been in with a ton of world class fighters and always goes the distance so kudos to him for his toughness. I anticipate Connor moving up in the WBA rankings and I know Williams is also ranked highly so we’re ready to make it happen for the number 1 contender spot or a vacant title if Erislandy Lara vacates.”
Fernandez with his team after winning the NABA title
St. Petersburg’s Joseph Fernandez became the NABA junior welterweight champion with an emphatic fourth round stoppage of Marqus Bates. Bates got off to a solid start, but Fernandez rocked the Taunton, MA native with a head shot in round three.
In the fourth, Fernandez scored a hard knockdown via a picturesque left hook. Bates was game and made it back to his feet but was clearly shaken up. Fernandez closed the show moments later by rocking Bates, who was out on his feet when the fight was stopped at 1:41.
Fernandez’ professional ledger improves to 16-5-3 with 6 KO’s. Bates is 11-6 (8 KO’s).
Silva wasted little time against Luque
Lightweight contender Willian “Babyface” Silva of Brazil demolished Diego Gonzalo Luque in the opening round. Silva connected with hard shots shortly after the opening bell and rocked Luque with an uppercut. Luque retreated to the ropes and Silva teed off until the bout was stopped at 2:21.
Silva, who trains in Florida, is 30-4 with 18 KO’s. Luque, a native of Argentina, falls to 21-12-2 (10 KO’s).
“Silva’s a different fighter since returning to the lightweight division (trainer) Jim McLaughlin’s done a great job refining Willian’s style,” said Caliguire. “Luque went 4 rounds with Brandun Lee earlier this year, he’d gone the distance with Jack Catterall and Mikael Zewski among others. I believe a big fight for Silva will come in the near future.”
Light heavyweight Imran Haddabah won the NBA Americas title via first round knockout of Scott Lampert. The heavy-handed Haddabah, a crowd favorite in the Tampa Bay region, scored two knockdowns, ending Lampert’s night after a wicked right hand at 2 minutes and 32 seconds.
Haddabah of St. Petersburg improved to 9-0 (7 KO’s) while Lampert of Dover Plains, NY falls to 5-8 (4 KO’s).
“This was a very successful card,” said Mike Reyes of Reyes Fire Fist Boxing. “We’d like to thank all the fans that came out on fight night, including many that traveled all the way from the Boston area. Connor, Willian, and Joseph all had big victories. We’ve got three more cards scheduled before the end of the year and look forward to seeing everybody during our fight nights.”
Reyes Fire Fist Boxing’s next card takes place June 24 at the Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, MA. A full replay of “Fire on the Bay” is available on Reyesboxingtv.com.
Additional undercard results
Junior middleweights: Luke Iannuccili (6-0 – 3 KO’s – Methuen, MA) KO2 (2:13) Christopher Wright (0-2 – Tifton, GA)
Junior welterweights: Gabriel Morales (7-0 – 4 KO’s – Lowell, MA) KO1 (:49) Nathan Harp Jr (0-2 – Kalamazoo, MI)
Light heavyweights: Mike Misa (4-0, 3 KO’s – Clearwater, FL) TKO2 (2:21) Russ Kimber (1-1 – Peabody, MA)
Junior middleweights: Rodrigo Coria (11-5, 2 KO’s – Cordoba, Argentina) UD6 (60-54 3x) Marcelo Fabian Bzowski (11-21-3 – Buenos Aires, Argentina)