Murtagh: Drop in weight will help me pick up title
BY Jonny Stapleton
HE has tried and failed four times before, but Lee Murtagh believes a return to light middleweight could prove the catalyst to him finally strapping an Irish title around his waist.
The Leeds based veteran has had three unsuccessful green belt attempts at super middleweight, twice against Anthony Fitzgerald and most recently against JJ McDonnagh.
Murtagh, who also failed in a light middleweight title clash with Ciaran Healy, faces Joe Hillerby in the Emerald Road House on July 21 and labels his return to light middle as a ‘godsend’.
The 37 year old feels the drop in size will increase his chances of winning a coveted Irish title. A loss however won’t stop Murtagh’s Irish title quest.
“It’s my fifth attempt and if it needs five more to get what I desire I’ll keep on fighting while there’s air in my lungs. I’ll be honest I have been confident at every attempt I have made for the Irish title. I have felt I’ve not been a million miles away each time. Getting this opportunity at light middle has been a godsend as I have felt bulky in the three attempts at super middle,” Murtagh told Irish-boxing.com. . “I have wanted to return to light middle since i boxed Anthony Fitzgerald the second time, but there was nothing happening as there was a question mark over weather Neil Sinclair would box again and nobody knew the answer.”
Hillerby has steadily cultivated a reputation as a decent fighter over the last 12 months. He extended his unbeaten run to seven unbeaten and buckled the middleweight Northern Irish title around his waist.
The Faith, however is deemed by some as the least threatening of all the fighters Murtagh challenged for a title. The Leed based boxer doesn’t quite agree and is expecting a very difficult fight on what is shaping up to be a very entertaining card.
“I have not lost to a bad fighter when I challenged for the Irish title. Ciaran Healy has been double Irish champ, Anthony Fitzgerald a triple champion with WBF, EBA and Irish titles. JJ proved his class by getting to The Prizefighter final. I’m not under estimating Joe or his experience. He’s on a winning run and recently won the Northern Irish title. I’ll be bringing a crowd from Leeds.”