Marcus Oliveira has had a bit more time than was originally planned to study his next opponent. And the Menominee Nation fighter is not at all impressed with Ryan "The Irish Outlaw" Coyne, who is undefeated in his first 21 pro fights.
"He hasn't fought anybody," said Oliveira, who is from Kenosha, Wisconsin but now lives in Mayetta, Kansas. "I don't know any of the guys he has fought."
Oliveira, who is also undefeated and sports a 24-0-1 record, will finally step into the ring against Coyne this Friday, April 12, in a light heavyweight match. The fight will be staged at the Treasure Island Casino in Las Vegas. The pair were originally scheduled to meet on March 9 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins-Tavoris Cloud mega-fight.
But Coyne, a 30-year-old who lives in St. Louis, sustained a vicious cut above his eye during a sparring session, so the fight had to be postponed.
"It doesn't matter to me," Oliveira said of his encounter with Coyne being pushed back. "It gives me more time to learn his style. It's making it worse for him."
The winner of the bout, which is scheduled for 10 rounds, will become the top-rated light heavyweight contender in the World Boxing Association, earning him a fight against Beibut Shumenov, the current WBA light heavyweight champion. Shumenov, who is now based in Las Vegas, is a 29-year-old from Kazakhstan.
Although the Irish Outlaw has managed to rack up victory after victory since turning pro in 2006, Oliviera dismisses his record. "He keeps on talking about his amateur career," said Oliveira, the current NABC and WBA Fedebol light heavyweight champion, who himself had more than 200 amateur fights. "It's really easy to win a Golden Gloves [title] in your state. Sometimes you can have one fight and win that state."
Oliveira also said he believes Coyne has padded his pro record by fighting against some subpar boxers who are in their 40s (but don't tell that to Hopkins, who at 48 become the oldest champion ever, taking the IBF light heavyweight crown by beating Cloud March 9). Now 34, Oliveira has certainly proven during his pro career that he has plenty of power. He's won 19 of his 25 pro bouts by knockout. In comparison, Coyne has won just nine of his 21 bouts by knockout.
Like Oliveira, his manager Doug Ward, of Underground Boxing Company
, also does not seem to mind this fight was pushed back for more than a month. "It's just part of the business," Ward said.
And he's confident his fighter will be ready to tangle with Coyne. "He's always well conditioned," Ward said of Oliveira. "And he always comes to fight."
Oliveira's last fight was this past October in Venezuela. He scored a first-round TKO over Bolivia's Ricky Torrez to capture the WBA's Fedebol light heavyweight title. Ward is not worried that Oliveira has not had a match in almost six months.
"Some fighters go a year in between fights," he said.
Though he's confident he will be able to defeat Coyne, Oliveira is not willing to predict the fight will be over rather quickly.
"Every time I make predictions I go south," he said. "I'm just going to go out there strong from the beginning."