Since making his promotional debut on YOKKAO 23 in 2017, Craig Coakley has made a name for himself on the Muay Thai scene with a string of KO victories.Â
Fighting out of Dublin Combat Academy, Craig holds a record of 24 fights with 21 wins, 3 losses and 17 KOs. His high KO-rate has made him one of the most dangerous knockout specialists in the global Muay Thai scene today.
The Irish fighter headlines YOKKAO 42 on 27 July in Ireland as he takes on Muay thai legend, Singdam for the highly-coveted WBC Super-lightweight Diamond title. The winner from the YOKKAO 42 main event will join legends, Buakaw and Saenchai to be the third fighter in history to hold a WBC Muay Thai Diamond belt.Â
We speak to Craig on his fighting style, his epic war against Mo Abdurahman and his upcoming title fight on YOKKAO 42:
YOKKAO (Y): Hi Craig, can you talk a bit about yourself, how you got into Muay Thai, some of your achievements etc.
Craig (C): Hi, My name is Craig Coakley and Iâ€™m 26 years old. I started Muay Thai when I was 18. I got into the sport as I wanted to lose weight but I had my first Muay Thai fight about 3 months into first starting training. I was the 2016 Irish Fighter of the Year. I hold the Golden Belt 4 nations title, the Cage Kings Irish Championship title and the Enfusion Tournament Champion -59kg.
Y: How would you describe your fighting style?
C: I'd like to think that I'm very well-rounded - I can kick, box, knee, elbow and clinch well. I try to mix it all together so I can adapt to whatever situation in the ring.
Y: It was a war in Bolton in March against Mo Abdurahman. You were almost going to finish the fight until that unfortunate knockout. What are your thoughts about the fight? Would you like a rematch?
C: Yes it was a great fight for the fans and my first loss in over 5 years so it was hard to take but it forced me to grow and think what I need to change. I would love a rematch with Mo. I think he's an amazing fighter and I want to fight the best out there.
Y: You will be headlining an YOKKAO event for the first time on July 27. How do you feel about fighting for the WBC Diamond world title at YOKKAO 42?
C: I've fought for 3 titles already but this will definitely be the most prestigious one. I feel honored and I'm very grateful to YOKKAO and the promoters for the opportunity.
Y: What do you think of your upcoming opponent, Singdam?
C: I think he's a legend of the sport but he will have to earn my respect in that ring. I want that world title, let's see how bad he wants it. If I win, it will open so many doors for me and my career.
Y: You have always been known to finish your fights by KO. How do you think this fight is going to end?
C: I'm known for it but I don't always plan it, it usually just happens. I prepare myself for war everytime I fight and this time is no different. I'll prepare for everything that could happen. I'd definitely like to get another (KO win) to my record and finishing Singdam would definitely be huge for my career - it would be a big statement.
Y: What do you think are your chances of winning the fight and title?
C: I think I have a good chance of winning. He's at the end of his career and I'm only getting started and coming into my prime. I think my style could cause a lot of problems for him. I don't have the average Muay Thai style. I like to move and use boxing to set up other shots. Either way, I know it will be entertaining. I'll be coming to fight whatever way it goes.
Y: You were in Thailand training for a while recently. How is your training coming along for the coming fight? How have you been preparing yourself for this fight?
C: Thailand was great. It gave me the opportunity to just focus on training and improve myself, it was a great experience.
Y: Youâ€™re fighting on home ground. Anything you want to say to your fans in Ireland?
C: I hope you are all ready for the biggest show to hit our shores and thanks to everyone for all the support as always. It means a lot to me.